In response to reports that the Donald Trump White House intends to create a working group to challenge the scientific consensus on climate change, Sens. Tom Carper, Delaware; Chuck Schumer, D-New York; and Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, introduced legislation March 7 to prohibit any federal funding from going to this panel.
The working group has been strategically designed to avoid the Federal Advisory Committee Act requirements, which means less public disclosure, and would be comprised of cherry-picked Trump administration employees who have agreed to undermine the consensus among scientists across 13 federal agencies in the National Climate Assessment. The alarming findings in the National Climate Assessment detailed the severe and immediate impacts of climate change.
The panel would be organized by William Happer, a prominent climate change science skeptic who is currently serving as a senior director at the National Security Council and was previously the director of the CO2 Coalition — an organization dedicated to touting the benefits of CO2 and funded by energy executives and hard-right foundations.
“Let’s be clear, President Trump’s so-called ‘task force’ will be tasked with one primary objective: casting doubt on settled climate science. Climate denial is par for the course with this administration, even though leaders across the armed forces have warned us for years that climate change poses both immediate and long-term threats to our national security, military readiness and international stability,” said Carper. “This administration has a penchant for appointing climate skeptics and a pervasive pattern of attacking science, and this panel is no exception. But the president creating a panel specifically to dispute the facts and diminish the findings drawn by hundreds of scientists in his own administration — that’s a new low. Our legislation will ensure no taxpayer dollars are used to fund this shameful, wasteful, anti-science spectacle.”
Text of the legislation is available at bit.ly/2C9YGEG.