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Monday, December 09, 2019

Trump’s Climate Change Panel Under Heavy Congressional Scrutiny

On Thursday, chairs of four different House committees demanded information about Trump’s newest scheme to attack the validity of climate science. The Democrats in charge in Congress are refusing to allow Trump to set up the shady climate change-denying advisory group without any oversight.

letter sent by Armed Services Chair Adam Smith, Energy and Commerce Chair Frank Pallone Jr., Natural Resources Chair Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ), and Science, Space, and Technology Chair Eddie Bernice Johnson outlines concerns about “a secret panel, led by a discredited climate change denier,” meant to undermine the scientific consensus on climate change and the threat it poses to America and the world.

That “discredited climate change denier” is William Happer, who has reportedly been tapped to lead the advisory panel. Happer is a Trump administration official currently serving as a senior director at the National Security Council, who has compared climate scientists to Nazis, mass murderers, and members of the terrorist group ISIS.

The four congressional leaders are demanding both to know the names of those who will be on the panel and to be updated on a monthly basis of any work the panel does. Further, the chairs want the panel to be subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which would allow the public to know more about the work of the panel.

The letter also lays out concerns about Trump’s previous statement on climate change, which “fly in the face of explicit scientific evidence and the findings of your own DoD [Department of Defense] and Director of National Intelligence.”

Trump has repeatedly ignored, if not outright attacked, evidence of climate change and warnings from scientists — even those within his own administration. When scientists from 13 federal agencies released the National Climate Assessment — a comprehensive, 1,600-page report on the devastation that climate change — Trump blithely dismissed it.

“I don’t believe it,” Trump said. “No, no, I don’t believe it.”

Trump has no trouble believing racist conspiracy theories about President Obama’s birthplace, will fan the flames of voter fraud conspiracies, and repeats ludicrous conspiracy theories about immigrants entering the United States, but he draws the line at believing scientific evidence on climate change.

The chairs understandably have “serious concerns” about any effort by Trump to “construct a secret committee to question the basic scientific fact of climate change.”

In 2018, voters flooded polling locations to elect a Congress that would hold Trump accountable. Democrats prove once again that they are living up to their promise.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

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