Dark days ahead... the Flat Earth Society is taking over the WH as we return to a time reminiscent of the Roman Inquisition...
Trump adviser called for killing White House science office
- Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter. November 29, 2016
A transition aide to President-elect Donald Trump called this year for eliminating the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy [OSTP], consolidating the national labs and limiting research for "specific constitutional responsibilities."
Trump named James Carafano, a vice president at the Heritage Foundation, last week as a member of the transition landing team for the Department of Homeland Security.
Carafano specialized in national security and foreign policy at Heritage, but he also was the lead author on a Heritage paper this summer outlining science priorities and reforms for the 45th president. Last year, Carafano wrote an opinion piece for Forbes that stated, "Washington is already far prone to claim everything — from climate change, to the national debt, to obesity — as a national security problem."
The Heritage paper, first noted by the American Institute of Physics, urged "rationalizing" billions of dollars spent on federal research and moving jurisdiction over some of the national labs to non-federal entities like states or universities. It also pressed for limiting federal R&D to support only basic science and "clear national objectives."
The Department of Energy also should not support research and development on things like electric vehicles and renewable power that go beyond the constitutional role of the federal government, he said.
"In recent years, DOE has offered grants, loans, and loan-guarantee programs to a wide array of energy technologies — from solar panels to advanced nuclear and electric vehicles — that already have interest and investment from the private sector," the paper said.
The Department of Homeland Security is involved in energy policy in several ways, including via programs on developing resilience to natural disasters. Last year, the department released a plan with the Department of Energy to protect energy infrastructure ranging from bridges to the grid.
...Many scientists are urging the president-elect to maintain funding for science programs and appoint a science adviser who is a well-respected scientist or engineer.
Yesterday, the leaders of 29 science organizations sent a letter to Trump urging the rapid appointment of a science adviser to address "national challenges"
...OSTP — created in 1976 — is critical because it's the one place in the White House the president can go to for information and advice on science and technology matters that affect everything the government does, including climate change, human health, natural disasters, clean air and water, agriculture, and safe food, said Neal Lane, former National Science Foundation director and now a senior fellow in science and technology policy at Rice University.
... Lane said the scientific community should be concerned about the future of OSTP, even though it is a statutory agency that the next president can't shut down easily.
"But the president would not have to appoint a science adviser or pay any attention to OSTP," said Lane. "That would be a serious mistake. The U.S. government is large and complicated. Most executive departments and agencies rely on scientific information and the latest technologies to carry out their missions and many provide funding for research and development activities."
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016
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