President Donald Trump will nominate meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier to the long vacant post to head the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), an administration official said.
An administration official told The Washington Post on Tuesday that Trump will soon send Droegemeier’s name to the Senate for consideration. If confirmed as science czar, Droegemeier will fill the 19-month vacancy at OSTP.
“He appears to be a solid choice with an unusually wide range of relevant experience—scientist, university administrator, political appointee, served on boards and commissions,” former Trump transition team leader Myron Ebell told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“He looks to be a Republican and comfortable with conservatives (who after all are much more supportive of sound science than the left), but not a political lightning rod, which is probably a good thing,” Ebell said via email.
Droegemeier will first have to survive the Senate where Democrats could stymie of confirmation vote for the for the vice president for research at the University of Oklahoma. Democrats may use confirmation hearings to grandstand on climate policy, while some GOP lawmakers could hold up the process over their own pet issues.
Trump’s pick to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Accuweather CEO Barry Myers, has been held up by Democrats and GOP senators with bones to pick.
However, Droegemeier seems to have bipartisan support from conservative leaders to former Obama administration officials. (RELATED: The Media Is Predictably (And Incorrectly) Linking Wildfires To Global Warming)
“I think he is a very solid choice,” Obama’s former science czar, John Holdren, told The Post. “He is a respected senior scientist and he has experience in speaking science to power.”
Climate scientist Judith Curry, a noted skeptic of catastrophic global warming theories, also seemed pleased with Trump’s choice to head OSTP.
Kelvin Drogemeier is actually a pretty good choice https://t.co/BPD1sH1jLO
— Judith Curry (@curryja) July 31, 2018
Droegemeier served on the National Science Board under presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, holding the chairmanship from 2012 to 2016. Droegemeier was also appointed as Oklahoma’s secretary of science and technology by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.
The Washington Post first reported that Droegemeier was a frontrunner for science czar in March. Former Peter Thiel aide Michael Kratsios was also under consideration for science czar.
Droegemeier also came to the defense of NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and likely helped him fine-tune his views on global warming after coming under fire from Democrats and environmentalists.
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