Noted craver of “the cleanest air” Donald Trump has finally nominated a science advisor. It’s the longest the post has remained vacant since its was created under law in 1976 (the post has been around since 1941). To fill the vacancy, Trump nominated Kelvin Droegemeier on Tuesday evening. He currently serves as Oklahoma’s secretary of science and technology and is a vice president for research and a meteorology professor at the University of Oklahoma, where he specializes in severe weather. He has advocated for federal science funding, understands climate science, and is by all accounts a solid pick to head the Office of Science and Technology Policy. His nomination has been met with widespread and bipartisan praise as scientists breathe a sign of relief over what could’ve been. John Holdren, Obama’s science advisor called him a “very good pick.” Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe tweeted that she was “delighted and amazed” by Droegemeier’s nomination. Marcia McNutt, the president of the National Academy of Sciences, told the Washington Post that “we hope he still can be a measured influence with the administration.” And that right there is the problem. Droegemeier, if confirmed, will be an outlier within an administration that has had a singular, almost maniacal focus on wiping out climate and environmental regulations and drastically cutting science budgets. The man at the top has shown exactly zero capacity to understand even basic climate science or gauge the gravity of the policies he’s enacting. Rolling back car mileage standards, revoking California’s clean air… [Read full story]
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