Sep 19, 2019

Senate Democrats allege Trump administration has buried 1,400+ climate studies

Sen. Debbie Stabenow. Photo. Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Senate Democrats alleged in a new report Thursday that the Trump administration has censored more than 1,400 studies on climate change across the government, Politico reports.

Why it matters: To the extent these claims are accurate, it illustrates the reach of President Trump's moves to stifle established climate science. It's also a sign of how much of a political football climate change has become between the two parties.

Details: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) released a list of over 1,400 climate studies by Department of Agriculture researchers, many of which warn of the potential effects of climate change on the public and on the agriculture sector, specifically. The agency released the studies after Politico reported in June that the USDA had purposefully buried its own researchers' findings.

  • Research included in the Democrats' report lays out the potentially harmful effects of climate change on crop production. The issue is increasingly important for farmers throughout the Midwest who have suffered from extreme weather's toll on harvests.

What they're saying: Stabenow said it is "outrageous" that "critical information for communities, for farmers, for those of us who care deeply about what’s happening to agriculture, these are not being shared with the people who need to know."

The other side: A USDA spokesperson said allegations of the department suppressing findings are false.

  • "We have repeatedly provided the Senate Agriculture Committee with evidence to the contrary, and the department has been transparent and communicative to the committee in response to their questions on research," the spokesperson said.
  • The spokesperson added that "the list of studies linked in the report were provided by the USDA to the committee and are all publicly available."

Between the lines: Climate change has become an increasingly prominent issue in the Democratic Party, with 2020 candidates partaking in climate-focused town halls and forums and releasing trillion-dollar plans to tackle the issue.

Go deeper: G7 highlights Trump's climate isolation

Go deeper

USDA's silence on climate crisis makes little sense to farmers

Photo: Jean-Francois Monier/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration's resistance to addressing climate change is exacerbating the Department of Agriculture's mostly unsuccessful attempts to help farmers cope with extreme weather, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Farmers and ranchers are already reckoning with the impacts of climate change today in their businesses, making federal action (or inaction) on the issue especially relevant.

Go deeperArrowOct 15, 2019

Democrats hint at 2021 climate change bill if they win Senate

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said a sweeping climate bill would be "one of the first things we put on the floor" if Democrats gain the majority in the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Political windows for major bills open rarely. The comments on a press call Friday sound like a commitment to spend political capital on climate if given the chance.

Go deeperArrowSep 30, 2019

Mulvaney says climate change will not be on agenda for G7 summit

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Thursday that climate change will not be on the agenda at next year's G7 summit, which will be hosted at the Trump National Doral Miami resort.

Go deeperArrowOct 17, 2019