California Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday his state would send its own “damn satellites” into orbit if President-elect Donald Trump shuts off the country’s climate satellites.
“We’ve got the scientists, we’ve got the lawyers and we’re ready to fight,” Brown said during a speech to the American Geophysical Union. Brown was given the nickname “Moonbeam” in the 1970s because of his support for state-sponsored satellites.
“If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite,” Brown told the San Francisco crowd.
His comments were likely prompted by news reports showing that Trump’s transition team asked the Department of Energy for a list of websites “maintained by or contributed to by laboratory staff during work hours for the past three years,” according to documents obtained by The New York Times.
The documents created a stir among environmental activists and various Democrats, including Brown himself.
“Scientific information provided by the government is critical to the work of university researchers, state governments, and countless others,” Michael Halpern, an activist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, told reporters after the questionnaire was released publicly.
He added: “During the Bush Administration, government scientific websites were altered or disappeared completely.”
Halpern then asked any climate scientists or activists with research “to take steps to ensure that they download what they need before the new administration steps in.”
Brown also laced into former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is now pegged to take over the top spot at the Energy Department. He told the audience that California’s “got more sun” than Perry’s “got oil.”
Perry could not remember the agency’s name in his fateful presidential debate appearance in 2011.
Trump’s team has never given any indication that it intends on thrashing NASA’s climate research, nor has it suggested it will delete troves of climate data.
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