5. NASA chief on his climate role
Axios' Andrew Freedman reports ... NASA chief Jim Bridenstine says he’s not getting pushback from Trump administration officials over his recent, high-profile endorsement of the scientific consensus that human activities are the dominant cause of global warming.
"The administration has been very supportive of my position. Nobody's given me a hard time about it at all" — NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, in an interview with Axios
Why it matters: Bridenstine leads one of the world's top climate science research agencies, so his position on this issue will influence support for studies that in turn form the basis for policy decisions.
- Yet he's out of step with senior Trump officials, and is the only high-profile Trump appointee to support the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change once he got into office.
What he's saying: According to Bridenstine, studying climate science is not, and should not be, controversial. He says:
"What I find, Republicans and Democrats can disagree about what to do about what we are learning, but everybody, everybody on both sides of the aisle believes that we should study and understand what is happening to the planet because it is changing and everybody knows that."
Still, the Trump administration proposed steep cuts to NASA's climate programs in the next fiscal year. However, Congress restored most of the funding during the appropriations process.
Going all the way: In May, Bridenstine became the sole Trump administration official to fully endorse the findings of the federal government's National Climate Assessment.
Go deeper: Read the full story in the Axios stream.