Report: Trump Aims To Balance Out EPA’s Influential Science Board With Climate Skeptics

Astrophysicist Gordon Fulks

Academics espousing skeptical positions on climate change are included in a list of 132 possible nominees for positions on the EPA’s Science Advisory Board, according to a report Monday from The Washington Post.

Anyone can nominate a person for consideration during the nominee process, and an EPA official involved in the process told reporters the agency has not whittled down the submissions. E&E News identified ten board nominees on the list who appear to express skeptical positions on widely-accepted findings of climate science.

One of the nominees, astrophysicist Gordon Fulks, suggested in 2010 that he is “concerned that many who promote the idea of catastrophic global warming reduce science to a political and economic game.” Fulks, a policy advisor at free-market group Heartland Institute, also believes climate change comes mostly from natural variation.

The Earth has undergone “modest warming as we have come out of the Little Ice Age since about 1830 in ice core temperature reconstructions. That surely says that the warming over the last almost two centuries is natural in origin,” Fulks told reporters.

Fulks added that if he is placed on the Science Advisory Board, he would work “to make sure that the decisions that the EPA makes regarding regulations are firmly based on science and not superstition.” The board currently has 47 members, but 15 have terms ending in September.

Another name on the list is meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo, who once submitted an amicus brief with 13 other scientists targeting the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. He challenged the agency’s key finding that atmospheric carbon dioxide endangers human health and welfare and helps warm the Earth.

“EPA has no proof whatsoever that CO2 has a statistically significant impact on global temperatures,” D’Aleo, wrote at the time. “Many scientists feel no such proof exists.” The list comes as the EPA continues to beat back allegations the agency is targeting academics who support Obama-era climate regulations.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has come under intense scrutiny recently for jettisoning academics on the Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) in May. The Trump administration believes the BOSC acted as a type of rubber stamp for many of the climate rules crafted during the Obama-era.

The dismissals came after legislation meant to reconfigure the board’s makeup passed the House in June. It also follows months of promises from President Donald Trump to reduce the EPA’s budget and ratchet down the agency’s role in fighting global warming.

Environmentalists hope the list gets winnowed down and that those representing skeptical positions on climate change are tossed out.

“We should be able to trust that those who serve the EPA are the all-stars in their fields and committed to public service,” Michael Halpern, deputy director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told reporters Monday.

He believes the nominations will be a test for Pruitt’s willingness to maintain the scientific board’s independence.

“He already has a parade of lobbyists and advisers providing him with the perspectives from oil, gas, and chemical companies,” Halpern said, referring to allegations the EPA administrator secretly cavorts with oil company CEOs and executives in Oklahoma.

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Comments (9)

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    No Bill Nye No Leonardo DiCaprio,No Al Bore and No Luarie David or David Suzuki and no one from Greenpeace,NRDC and EDF

    Reply

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    ReplaceTheGOP

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    “are included in a list of 132 possible nominees”
    ONE-HUNDRED THIRTY TWO!?

    Why the hell is the man that can end this department even ALLOWING 132 nominees!? Why Isn’t Mr Strong Man canceling these nominees!? Why aren’t you reporting how many “skeptics” are being included? One? two? 102!?

    This is as pathetic as his sell-out to the Dems on the budget, his sell-out to the Paris Climate Scam and his big fat NTOHING BURGER FOR 9 MONTHS while this site and many other Trump thumper sites keep trying to justify and shill for a total reprobate!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    David Lewis

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    For climate activists who understand the issue, it is a nightmare to have balanced representation. They know that the facts are against the climate change movement. As such, anything less than a stacked committee will not be able to come up with a conclusion that supports their agenda’s.

    The focus is probably on the EPA because it has regulatory authority. However, NOAA also needs to have a balance. Even under the Trump administration they continue to alter historical data to support the climate change movement. With skeptics on board, this would be stopped.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)

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      Very true. Climate alarmists lose every single debate on this issue. It is not that we are such good debaters. It is that they cannot produce the sturdy logic and robust evidence to back up their assertions. So they continually resort to the ‘trust us’ meme or to hyping current weather events, like hurricanes. Somehow they think that people will not remember that we went twelve years between major hurricanes striking the USA, finally having several this year.

      Reply

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    Sonnyhill

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    Hurricanes were not conspicuous by their absence to many. The MSM and climate activists made sure that memories of Hurricane Katrina and “super storm” Sandy were refreshed often. Hurricanes now equates to climate change now in the absent-minded masses.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)

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    One crucial aspect of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board that this article fails to cover is the problem of conflicts of interest. The current SAB is famous for conflicts of interest. Too many of those serving today work for the EPA or for one of the businesses that the EPA regulates. They are very unlikely to object to the status quo. It could mean the loss of millions of dollars in grants from the EPA or a change in regulations that are currently favorable to their industry.

    I have no conflicts of interest on the topics that the the Science Advisory Board handles. I do not suffer from millions of dollars coming my way from the EPA! Or from anyone else for that matter.

    As Mae West used to quip: “I used to be as pure as the driven snow – but then I drifted.”

    As to a financial relationship with the oil companies, mine can best be described as “Pay at the Pump.”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Edwin Berry, PhD, Physics, CCM

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    The case against climate alarmism is clear and solid. There are only two key scientific questions in the climate debate: (1) How much do human emissions increase atmospheric CO2? and (2) How much does atmospheric CO2 increase global temperature?
    Regarding (1), the whole alarmist case rests on the incorrect belief that human emissions have increased the level of CO2 in the atmosphere by 120 ppm. Simple physics proves them wrong.
    Physics shows present human emissions add only 18 ppm of the level of atmospheric CO2 while natural emissions cause the remainder.
    This fact destroys the whole basis of climate alarmism. Even if they could stop all human emissions, they could reduce atmospheric CO2 by only 18 ppm. A human effect of only 18 ppm is not enough to cause or to stop climate change no matter if they alarmists were correct on (2), which they are not.
    It’s time for truth to prevail in climate science. President Trump is correct on the climate issue.

    Reply

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      Sonnyhill

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      Some have said that natural warming leads to more carbon dioxide, that the Warmists have it backwards.

      Reply

      • Avatar

        Gordon J. Fulks, PhD

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        That is true, because gasses are less soluble in warmer water. Carbon dioxide dissolves in water, and consequently the oceans contain far more than does the atmosphere.

        If the ocean surface should warm for any reason, it will give up some of that CO2. This can be seen in the ice cores, where reconstructed temperature and CO2 seem to move in tandem. Al Gore interpreted this as CO2 driving temperature. But with a closer look, researchers found just the opposite: temperature changed first and CO2 followed centuries later. Hence, changing CO2 is a product of warming or cooling, not a cause.

        Reply

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