(CNSNews.com) - Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy on Monday took aim at critics who try to "vilify the work of reputable scientists and EPA."
"To those calling EPA untrustworthy and unpopular -- newsflash! People like us," she said in a speech at the National Academy of Science. "They want safe drinking water. They want healthy air. And they expect us to follow the science -- just as the law demands."
McCarthy, in her prepared remarks, stressed the "bedrock science" behind "sensible regulatory standards," such as the Clean Air Act.
And she said "a small but vocal group of critics" are trying to prevent the EPA from doing the job Congress directed it to do:
"People are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts," she said. "You can't just claim the science isn't real when it doesn't align well with your political or financial interests. Science is real and verifiable. With the health of our families and our futures at stake, the American people expect us to act on the facts, not spend precious time and taxpayer money refuting manufactured uncertainties."
She pointed to the threat of climate change, evidenced by "more frequent and intense heat waves, droughts, floods, and storms to more smog and asthma." She said climate change "has put our health and economic risks on steroids," and cannot be ignored.
"Using the best science we have to offer, our next U.S. National Climate Assessment is about to be finalized. From coastal cities to the Great Plains, we have to use that science to prepare and to plan. Just like we use the science on mercury, acid rain, ozone pollution, particulate matter and more.
"To reduce the risks that threaten our health and safety, we need to listen to climate science. We cannot let those same critics of science continue to manufacture uncertainties that stop us from taking urgently needed climate action."