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Miami Republicans chastise EPA administrator for questioning cause of climate change


Two Miami Republican members of Congress this week chided Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, for saying Thursday he doesn't believe carbon dioxide is a primary cause of global warming, as science has long concluded.

"I would not agree that [carbon dioxide] is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see," Pruitt said on CNBC.

"Rising carbon emissions have been a contributing factor to climate change for decades," U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo said in a statement Thursday. "That is a scientific fact and the reality facing communities like my district. The EPA is tasked with the very responsibility of helping to lower the impact of carbon emissions, and for Mr. Pruitt to assert otherwise without scientific evidence is reckless and unacceptable."

Curbelo represents Florida's southernmost district, which includes the Keys. He's also the co-founder of a bipartisan climate change caucus in Congress.

On Friday, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who represents coastal parts of Miami-Dade County, also weighed in. Both Curbelo and Ros-Lehtinen campaigned last year in their Democratic-leaning districts in part by promising to protect South Florida's environment.

"These comments by the EPA administrator casting doubt on the causes and impacts of climate change are disconcerting and troubling," she said. "I'm committed to helping ensure South Florida's environment remains pristine and we continue to combat sea level rise in order to protect our community."

Photo credit: Associated Press