Feb 20, 2019 - Energy & Environment

Trump's proposed climate panel would include prominent skeptic

In this image, William Happer leans against a marble wall. He's wearing a gray suit and a black and orange striped tie.

William Happer. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Trump administration is proposing the formation of a committee on climate security to evaluate climate science evidence and determine if it poses a national security threat, according to a White House memo originally obtained and reported by the Washington Post on Wednesday.

What to watch: William Happer, a Princeton physicist and well-known denier of mainstream climate science findings, will reportedly participate in the panel. He argued in a 2015 Senate testimony that more carbon dioxide is beneficial to the planet, a view that directly contradicts thousands of scientific studies. Happer is a National Security Council senior director and currently serves as Trump's deputy assistant for emerging technologies.

The big picture: Multiple reports from U.S. intelligence agencies have already concluded that climate change poses security risks, including the administration's latest Worldwide Threat Assessment from the director of National Intelligence.

  • The White House declined comment for this story.

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