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Susan Walsh / AP

EPA has a message about Scott Pruitt's instantly controversial new comments about climate change: nothing to see here.

He made a statement this morning that is consistent with his prior statements — John Konkus, an EPA spokesman, to reporters in Houston.

However, Pruitt also went a bit further than his past public remarks Thursday when he told CNBC that he does not agree that carbon dioxide is a "primary contributor to the global warming that we see." That diverges a lot from the dominant view among scientists about the role of human-induced carbon emissions in the global warming that's underway.

Why it matters: The voluminous press coverage of Pruitt's CNBC comments and immediate attacks from Democrats and environmentalists signal how EPA is facing intense scrutiny as the Trump administration seeks to unwind Obama-era climate initiatives.

What's next: Pruitt's climate views are certain to remain in the news. The White House is slated to issue an executive order soon to begin the lengthy process of rescinding carbon emissions rules for power plants. And Pruitt is also reportedly planning to revisit strict mileage standards for cars and light trucks that are another pillar of Obama's climate push.

EPA, in a prepared statement Thursday, reiterated Pruitt's previously stated uncertainty about the extent of humans' role in rising temperatures but did not repeat any outright disagreement about the role of carbon emissions. The agency said:

"Administrator Pruitt has said repeatedly and consistently that he believes the climate is warming and that it is in part due to human activity. Many questions remain however that should be debated: how much is the climate changing, to what extent is human activity involved, and what to do about it?"

Go deeper

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.