Energy & Environment

GOP chairman presses for national security, climate change plan


Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, is asking the Obama administration for more information about its push to write a climate change-focused national security plan. 

In a letter to Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, Smith requested a meeting with a top White House official to “better understand the development and content of the report,” which Obama directed security agencies to write. 

{mosads}“It is necessary for us to better understand the science that underpins the studies, climate models, reports and conclusions that the Administration will use as the basis of its analysis and national security policy development,” Smith wrote in his Monday letter to Rice.

Smith also requested a staff briefing with Brian Deese, Obama’s top climate adviser.  

Obama last week signed a directive asking 20 agencies to develop a national security strategy to address climate change. The offices will share climate data and research ideas and write an implementation plan for climate change strategies. 

Republicans have been hostile to the position held by the White House and other Democrats that climate change constitutes a national security threat, but Smith didn’t raise those objections in his letter. 

Smith, though, has waged a fight with the administration over the science used in federal climate change assessments. He has accused the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of using flawed and politically motivated studies to back up its warnings about climate change, even issuing the agency a subpoena seeking documents related to its research. 

The NOAA has defended its scientific research, with its administrator, Kathryn Sullivan, telling the committee in March, “I stand by the quality and integrity of the scientific analysis that was published for all to challenge, confirm or verify.”

Tags Climate change Lamar Smith National security

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