House Committee Leaders Want Answers on Proposed Panel on Climate Change



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HThe committee's committee leaders do not agree with the decision announced by the White House to create a group of experts to determine whether climate change is compromising national security, which should be "led by a discredited denier of climate change ".

The Washington Post announced earlier this month that the White House would call on William Happer, senior director of the National Security Council, to chair the Presidential Committee on Climate Security that President Trump would establish by decree. But four lawmakers, including Adam Smith, chairman of the Armed Forces Committee of the House of Representatives, said the panel's perspective "deeply concerned" them, citing Happer's qualifications.

Happer, a former professor of physics at Princeton University, claimed that carbon dioxide emissions, which scientists say would be the cause of global warming, are in fact beneficial for the planet. In 2014, he told CNBC that "the demonization of carbon dioxide is similar to the demonization of poor Jews under Hitler".

"Dr. Happer does not have the qualifications to be part of a working group that should be made up of climatologists, though it must exist, "lawmakers wrote in a letter to Trump on Thursday. "Dr. Happer is a nuclear physicist, not an expert on climate, and his statements on climate change have been repeatedly belied by climate scientists.

According to a discussion paper of the National Security Council, the purpose of the committee is to "advise the president on the scientific understanding of the current climate, on how the climate might change in the future under the influence of Natural and human influences, and on the impact that a change in climate could have on the safety of the planet. United States."

Trump has generally rejected reports that climate change poses a threat. For example, the fourth US National Climate Assessment released in November said climate change would hurt the US economy and warned that hundreds of billions of dollars would be lost if no change was made.

But Trump canceled the report, which was conducted by 13 federal agencies and more than 300 scientists, and said he "did not believe it." White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the report was "not based on facts".

National Intelligence Director Dan Coats also mentioned climate change as a threat to security in a global threat assessment last month, but the National Security Council working paper has questioned the reports. from the government that climate change is a threat.

"The decision to convene this NSC committee is another action by your administration among many others that goes against the overwhelming scientific consensus on the causes and effects of climate change," writes the president's letter. . "Given the previous statements you made that go against the explicit scientific evidence and the conclusions of your own Department of National Defense and Intelligence, we are seriously concerned about any effort to put in place a secret committee to question fundamental scientific data of the climate. change."

As a result, lawmakers are asking the administration to immediately provide information on who will be part of the group and to keep all documents and information related to the working group. They also request scheduled updates to their respective committees at least once a month.

Signatories to the letter included Smith, Chair of the Energy and Trade Committee, Frank Pallone of New Jersey, Chair of the Natural Resources Committee, Raul Grijalva of Arizona, and Chair of the Science Committee, space and technology, Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas.

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