Trump administration disbands advisory panel on climate change

The 15 members of the federal advisory panel on climate change learned by email Friday that the Trump administration is disbanding the committee.
By Alex Bourque | Aug 23, 2017
The 15 members of the federal advisory panel on climate change learned by email Friday that the Trump administration is disbanding the committee.

"On behalf of the Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), I am writing to inform you that per the terms of the charter the Federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment (Committee) will expire on August 20, 2017," wrote Benjamin Friedman, head of NOAA, in the email, as reported by CNN. "The Department of Commerce and NOAA appreciate the efforts of the Committee and offer sincere thanks to each of the Committee members for their service."

Committee members who spoke to CNN said although these panels usually are renewed, they were not surprised that the advisory committee on climate science was allowed to expire.

"Given what's happened over recent months, when you look at the things being said by key people in the administration like EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt about climate science, it's fair to say we were all a bit concerned," said panel member Riley Dunlap, a sociology professor at Oklahoma State University. "Usually these committees are renewed."

Without the advisory committee, federal agencies and municipal governments will have difficulty understanding the science of climate change, Dunlap sad.

"It's now going to be a big challenge for government entities to easily understand how to use the science when making decisions on things like land use and infrastructure," said committee member Jessica Whitehead, a coastal communities hazard adaptation scientist in North Carolina, in the CNN report. "If states or towns, for example, need to install new storm-water pipes, those pipes won't be very effective if they make these decisions without a good understanding of the science of climate change and how it's impacting the community."

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