Feb 20, 2019

Trump's proposed climate panel would include prominent skeptic

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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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 887,067 — Total deaths: 44,264 — Total recoveries: 185,541Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 190,740 — Total deaths: 4,127 — Total recoveries: 7,141Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Vice President Mike Pence said that White House modeling suggests "Italy may be the most comparable area to the United States" in terms of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
  4. State updates: Florida and Pennsylvania are the latest to issue stay-at-home orders, totaling 34 states and D.C.
  5. 2020 update: New York is latest state to delay primary — Bernie Sanders urges Wisconsin to delay April 7 primary.
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West Virginia is latest state to delay primary due to coronavirus

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