U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology

11/10/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/10/2020 14:30

Chairwoman Johnson Questions Removal of Dr. Kuperberg from National Climate Assessment Panel

November 10, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Questions Removal of Dr. Kuperberg from National Climate Assessment Panel

(Dallas, TX) - On Friday, November 7, the Trump Administration removed Dr. Michael Kuperberg from his detail as the Executive Director of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). USGCRP, which is overseen by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), is the interagency body tasked with preparing the National Climate Assessment, a quadrennial scientific review of trends and effects of climate change required under the Global Change Research Act of 1990. Dr. Kuperberg is a long-time career employee of the Department of Energy and a respected environmental toxicologist. Last night media reports suggested that the White House expects to replace him with Dr. David Legates, a political appointee at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and an outspoken denier that humans contribute to climate change.

Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) made the following statement.

'Since it was first mandated, the National Climate Assessment has been a well-respected gauge of the impacts climate change is having on our planet. The removal of Dr. Kuperberg appears to be a clear attempt by the defeated Trump Administration in its waning days in office to politicize the Assessment during a critical early stage of its development. As should be clear to OSTP, which oversees the USGCRP, it is vitally important that this Assessment and all Federal climate research be free from political interference and bias. I expect USGCRP to adhere to past practice and maintain transparency as it pursues the next steps in Fifth National Climate Assessment's development, and I am confident that the incoming Biden Administration will take all necessary steps to ensure that is the case.'