The Trump administration is “hamstringing scientists and their ability to do their work” to tackle climate change, Christine Todd Whitman, a former Environmental Protection Agency administrator, said Wednesday.
“So we need to be studying this and the public sees it. You see every poll that says better than 50% of the American people, even among Republicans, know the climate is changing, say the climate is changing, say it’s serious, humans have some role to play and we should be doing something. And this administration just refuses and they’re hamstringing scientists and their ability to do their work,” Whitman told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.”
The comments from Whitman, who served under Republican President George W. Bush, come a day after she and three other former EPA administrators criticized the Trump administration’s approach to environmental policy and commitment to science in testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Asked by Camerota what actions by the administration compelled her to testify on Tuesday, Whitman said: “Well, it’s been this just consistent roll back of regulations without a seeming analysis of why this particular regulation is no longer relevant, and particularly when it comes to climate change, it’s the scrubbing of any mention of climate change, it’s the restriction of the scientists, their ability to do their work, to say this could be a problem and here is what we need to watch.”
The White House did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment on Wednesday.
During her testimony, the former EPA official cited a 2018 American Journal of Public Health study that concluded that the Trump administration “has explicitly sought to reorient” the agency to be more favorable to industry, telling the committee that “this unprecedented attack on science-based regulations designed to protect the environment and public health represents the gravest threat to the effectiveness of the EPA.”