By MICHAEL BASTASCH
- President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet Wednesday with close advisers to discuss creating a commission to scrutinize government climate change reports.
- The commission would be spearheaded by Princeton physicist William Happer, who sees CO2 emissions as a net benefit for the planet.
- Democrats have attacked Happer’s plan, but it’s gotten backing from a vast coalition of conservative groups and activists.
President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet Wednesday with White House officials to discuss creating a commission to scrutinize climate change reports, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Top National Security Council (NSC) officials John Bolton and William Happer will press Trump to create a commission to scrutinize major climate change reports, like last year’s National Climate Assessment, the source told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Should Trump agree, the plan is to issue an executive order creating a climate commission within the NSC, said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity. The White House did not respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment, and with unrest breaking out in Venezuela, such a meeting could be postponed.
The source added that National Economic Council head Larry Kudlow and Kelvin Droegemeier, a climatologist who heads the Office of Science & Technology Policy, will be among those meeting with Trump to argue against creating a climate commission. (RELATED: Pelosi, Schumer Want To Turn Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Into A Climate Change Bill)
National Security Advisor John Bolton speaks while U.S. President Donald Trump and Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan listen during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 2, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts.
Happer, a Princeton physicist, has pushed for Trump to create a commission to scrutinize U.S. military and intelligence claims that global warming is a national security threat. Happer was brought on to the NSC in September to analyze emerging technologies.
Happer’s plan is similar to the failed effort spearheaded by former Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt to hold a “red team” exerciseto debate climate science. Pruitt’s plan was heavily criticized and eventually abandoned.
Likewise, Happer’s push for a climate commission has been viciously attacked by politicians and environmentalists. House Democrats opposed Happer’s push for a climate panel, saying his intent was to undermine the “consensus.”
The Democratic chairs of four house committees wrote to Trump over “recent reports that the National Security Council (NSC) is planning to assemble a secret panel, led by a discredited climate change denier, to undermine the overwhelming scientific consensus on the nature and threats of climate change.”
Many conservative activists, on the other hand, have come out in favor of setting up a commission to scrutinize climate claims, including nearly 140 groups and experts who sent a letter of support to Trump in March.
Apr 29, 2019; Washington, D.C., USA; President Donald Trump speaks at a ceremony honoring the 2019 womenÕs NCAA basketball champion Baylor Lady Bears in the Oval Office at the White House. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.
“We suggest that climate science requires at least the same level of scrutiny as the engineering employed in building a bridge or a new airplane,” conservatives wrote to Trump.
“If the defenders are confident that the science contained in official reports is robust, then they should welcome a review that would finally put to rest the doubts that have been raised,” conservatives wrote.
“On the other hand, their opposition could be taken as evidence that the scientific basis of the climate consensus is in fact highly suspect and cannot withstand critical review,” conservatives wrote.
Happer sits on the board of the CO2 Coalition, a group of scientists and policy experts who think carbon dioxide will end up being a net benefit to the planet by stimulating plant growth.
“I like to call this the CO2 anti-defamation league,” Happer said at a conservative conference in 2016, “because there is the CO2 molecule, and it has undergone decade after decade of abuse, for no reason.”