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The Morning Brew: In break with Trump, EPA pick Scott Pruitt says climate change is real

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Thursday brings with it news, and coffee.

"I do not believe climate change is a hoax," Scott Pruitt said.

"I do not believe climate change is a hoax," Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said in response to Democrats at his confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C. Wednesday.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-designate Scott Pruitt arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-designate Scott Pruitt arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The 48-year-old Republican has previously cast doubt on the extensive body of scientific evidence showing that the planet is warming and man-made carbon emissions are to blame. In a 2016 opinion article, Pruitt suggested that the debate over global warming "is far from settled" and he claimed that "scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind."

At the hearing before the Senate Energy and Public Works Committee, Pruitt conceded that human activity contributes "in some manner" to climate change. He continued, however, to question whether the burning of fossil fuels is the primary reason, and refused to say whether sea levels are rising.

Pruitt's testimony came shortly after NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a joint statement affirming that 2016 was officially the hottest year in recorded history. Studies show the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass, while the world's oceans have risen on average nearly 7 inches in the last century.

#ICYMI

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Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-designate Scott Pruitt arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-designate Scott Pruitt arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f38b977b236b64b2da86d6ccfbbdb7dd.jpg" alt="Photo - Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-designate Scott Pruitt arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)" title="Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-designate Scott Pruitt arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)"><figcaption>Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-designate Scott Pruitt arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d16353c3adb69886a9bac13a9ad88c32.jpg" alt="Photo - U.S. country singer Dolly Parton performs during her concert in Ijsselhallen in Zwolle, north eastern Netherlands, Sunday March 18, 2007, as part of her European tour. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) ORG XMIT: PDJ104" title="U.S. country singer Dolly Parton performs during her concert in Ijsselhallen in Zwolle, north eastern Netherlands, Sunday March 18, 2007, as part of her European tour. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) ORG XMIT: PDJ104"><figcaption>U.S. country singer Dolly Parton performs during her concert in Ijsselhallen in Zwolle, north eastern Netherlands, Sunday March 18, 2007, as part of her European tour. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) ORG XMIT: PDJ104</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1c81d2dc5b51d959916ff9a410b3c36d.jpg" alt="Photo - Dolly Parton speaks at the grand opening of Dolly Parton’s Trinkets & Treasures store in Nashville, Tenn., March 12, 2010. AP PHOTO ORG XMIT: 1107232348482702" title="Dolly Parton speaks at the grand opening of Dolly Parton’s Trinkets & Treasures store in Nashville, Tenn., March 12, 2010. AP PHOTO ORG XMIT: 1107232348482702"><figcaption>Dolly Parton speaks at the grand opening of Dolly Parton’s Trinkets & Treasures store in Nashville, Tenn., March 12, 2010. AP PHOTO ORG XMIT: 1107232348482702</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3eab45653854d43cdef07fce98ae93f2.jpg" alt="Photo - US singer Dolly Parton performs in concert at the O2 Arena in London on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Mark Allan) ORG XMIT: LMA101" title="US singer Dolly Parton performs in concert at the O2 Arena in London on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Mark Allan) ORG XMIT: LMA101"><figcaption>US singer Dolly Parton performs in concert at the O2 Arena in London on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Mark Allan) ORG XMIT: LMA101</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e83bf6e73c754ce432ce615a67fc0b6a.jpg" alt="Photo - FILE - This April 3, 2016 file photo shows Dolly Parton walking on stage to accept the Tex Ritter award at the 51st annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The 52nd annual Academy of Country Music Awards will air on CBS on Sunday, April 2, 2017, from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)" title="FILE - This April 3, 2016 file photo shows Dolly Parton walking on stage to accept the Tex Ritter award at the 51st annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The 52nd annual Academy of Country Music Awards will air on CBS on Sunday, April 2, 2017, from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)"><figcaption>FILE - This April 3, 2016 file photo shows Dolly Parton walking on stage to accept the Tex Ritter award at the 51st annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The 52nd annual Academy of Country Music Awards will air on CBS on Sunday, April 2, 2017, from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-efaca5bb822baedde13a1266484b83c6.jpg" alt="Photo - People gather outside of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, to thank outgoing President Barack Obama as preparations continue ahead of Friday's presidential inauguration. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)" title="People gather outside of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, to thank outgoing President Barack Obama as preparations continue ahead of Friday's presidential inauguration. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)"><figcaption>People gather outside of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, to thank outgoing President Barack Obama as preparations continue ahead of Friday's presidential inauguration. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a4702b8e09e2aa31c6a8cf9fd51e0231.jpg" alt="Photo - The sun sets on the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, on President Barack Obama's final full day as President. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)" title="The sun sets on the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, on President Barack Obama's final full day as President. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)"><figcaption>The sun sets on the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, on President Barack Obama's final full day as President. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b1b273f7548a186a8b1923de3ab44051.jpg" alt="Photo - FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2009, file photo, Barack Obama, left, takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts, not seen, as his wife Michelle, holds the Lincoln Bible and daughters Sasha, right and Malia, watch at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Donald Trump will be following some giant footsteps when he gives his inaugural speech. (AP Photo/Chuck Kennedy, Pool)" title="FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2009, file photo, Barack Obama, left, takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts, not seen, as his wife Michelle, holds the Lincoln Bible and daughters Sasha, right and Malia, watch at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Donald Trump will be following some giant footsteps when he gives his inaugural speech. (AP Photo/Chuck Kennedy, Pool)"><figcaption>FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2009, file photo, Barack Obama, left, takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts, not seen, as his wife Michelle, holds the Lincoln Bible and daughters Sasha, right and Malia, watch at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Donald Trump will be following some giant footsteps when he gives his inaugural speech. (AP Photo/Chuck Kennedy, Pool)</figcaption></figure>
Juliana Keeping

Juliana Keeping is on the enterprise reporting team for The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com. Keeping joined the staff of The Oklahoman in 2012. Prior to that time, she worked in the Chicago media at the SouthtownStar, winning a Peter Lisagor Award... Read more ›

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