GOP senators call for probe of federal grants on climate change

GOP senators call for probe of federal grants on climate change
© Greg Nash

A group of Republican senators is calling for an investigation into National Science Foundation (NSF) grants designed to educate meteorologists about climate change, saying the program has moved beyond science and into political action.

Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward Cruz2 Republican senators introduce resolution to label antifa as domestic terrorists Ted Cruz: Trump's chances of winning reelection are '50-50' How to reduce Europe's dependence on Russian energy MORE (Texas), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' McConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch Overnight Defense: Iran seizes British tanker in latest escalation | US, UK to discuss situation | Trump says 'no doubt' US downed Iranian drone after Tehran's denials | Pentagon's No. 2 policy official to leave | Lawmakers worry about Defense vacancies MORE (Ky.), James LankfordJames Paul LankfordOvernight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran Senators urge Trump to sanction Turkey for accepting Russian missile shipment Acosta on shaky ground as GOP support wavers MORE (Okla.) and Jim InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeSenate panel advances Pentagon chief, Joint Chiefs chairman nominees Trump's pick to lead Pentagon glides through confirmation hearing Trump says US will not sell Turkey F-35s after Russian missile defense system purchase MORE (Okla.) requested the probe in a letter Wednesday to the NSF inspector general, saying the grants are “not science – it is propagandizing," NBC News reported.

The letter states that the foundation has “issued several grants which seek to influence political and social debate rather than conduct scientific research.” The senators say that issuing the grants might violate the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from taking public political stances, as well as NSF’s mission, according to NBC News.

ADVERTISEMENT

The federal program, called Climate Central, has been in place for six years and has taught more than 500 meteorologists about global warming, NBC News reported.

Climate Central CEO Ben Strauss pushed back against the GOP senators' claims.

“Climate Central is not an advocacy organization, and the scientific consensus on climate change is not a political viewpoint,” Strauss said in an email to NBC News.

Several top Trump administration officials, including Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: EPA halts surprise inspections of power, chemical plants | Regulators decline to ban pesticide linked to brain damage | NY awards country's largest offshore wind energy contracts EPA allows continued use of pesticide linked with brain damage Overnight Energy: Trump officials gut DC staff for public lands agency to move West | Democrats slam EPA over scientific boards | Deepwater Horizon most litigated environmental issue of decade MORE, have cast doubt on the scientific community's consensus regarding the causes of climate change.

Pruitt said last year that human behavior is not a “primary contributor” to climate change.