A former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official claimed Obama administration holdovers in the White House’s science office are pushing an “alarmist” climate study “as quickly and quietly as possible” right under President Donald Trump’s nose.
“The staff at the Office of Science and Technology Policy are currently engaged in writing the statutorily mandated 2017 ‘National Climate Assessment,'” David Schnare, an attorney who served on the transition team at EPA, wrote in an op-ed.
“This is a legacy of the Obama administration, one being done as quickly and quietly as possible by the Obama holdovers ensconced at OSTP,” Schnare wrote.
Schnare resigned in March over over what he called a “question of integrity.” Schnare wrote an op-ed for Inside EPA Wednesday to give more information on why he resigned, but also criticized how EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was managing the agency.
While most media coverage focused on Schnare’s criticism of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s plan to use “red teams” to debate global warming science, Schnare also pointed to the upcoming National Climate Assessment quietly moving through the process.
Schanre claimed it was being pushed through by Obama administration holdovers in the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. That office was extremely active in pushing out global warming policies and scientific review during the Obama administration.
“The Assessment draws on the science as discussed in another statutorily mandated report, the ‘Research Plan,'” Schnare wrote. “Both the Assessment (currently in draft) and the Research Plan parrot an alarmist view of the ‘settled’ science.”
“The Research Plan was published days before President Trump took office,” he wrote. “Both the Research Plan and the Assessment need to go back to ground zero and be redone, and a properly appointed OSTP leadership and staff have all the authority and tools needed to reexamine the science.”
Trump has yet to appoint a head of OSTP, and the administration recently let go three Obama-era appointees still in the office.
Those three Obama holdovers went to the media to claim OSTP is now completely unstaffed, but the White House fired back and said there are still 35 employees in the office. That’s still about one-third of the 100-strong OSTP in the Obama years.
The National Climate Assessment is published every four years with input from federal agencies and outside scientists. In recent years, the assessment has been used to describe the current and future impacts of global warming on Americans.
Democrats and environmentalists point to it as support for their case for “climate action.” But the assessment has been heavily criticized for being overly-alarmist and misleading.
Former Energy Department under-secretary Steve Koonin pointed to the 2014 assessment’s chapter on hurricane activity that claimed hurricane activity increased from 1980 to 2005.
“What they forgot to tell you, and you don’t know until you read all the way into the fine print is that it actually decreased in the decades before that,” Koonin told The Wall Street Journal in April.
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