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House Republican introduces measure to defund key climate research

Ross D. Franklin / AP

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) submitted an amendment last week to the House Rules Committee for the federal government's 2018 spending bill that would prevent any appropriated funds from being used toward the government's National Climate Assessment.

What the NCA does: From the 2014 assessment: "This National Climate Assessment collects, integrates, and assesses [climate change] observations and research from around the country, helping us to see what is actually happening and understand what it means for our lives, our livelihoods, and our future." It is supposed to be published every four years.

Why it matters: While Biggs' amendment was one of hundreds that will be considered when the House takes up the bill next week, it was singled out in a congressional update email sent yesterday to senior management of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research — the federal government's foremost environmental research arm.

Biggs' own words on climate change: "I do not think that humans have a significant impact on climate. The federal government should stop regulating and stomping on our economy and freedoms in the name of a discredited theory." Neither Biggs' office nor the NOAA immediately responded to a request for comment on his amendment.

Why NOAA might be concerned: Just days ago, the Trump administration disbanded a key advisory committee for the NCA designed to help public and private officials interpret and incorporate the report's long-term recommendations, per WaPo. Though the NOAA said that the fourth NCA "remains a key priority," the White House clearly isn't on the same page.

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