White House nominating new science adviser with extreme-weather background

White House nominating new science adviser with extreme-weather background
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussian sanctions will boomerang States, cities rethink tax incentives after Amazon HQ2 backlash A Presidents Day perspective on the nature of a free press MORE announced Tuesday night his plans to nominate a new White House science and technology adviser with a background in extreme weather events.

The nominee, Kelvin Droegemeier, is an expert in extreme weather events and currently works as professor of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma and serves as the Oklahoma Cabinet Secretary of Science and Technology. He also previously was a member of the National Science Board, under former presidents George W. Bush and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaA Presidents Day perspective on the nature of a free press Juan Williams: Don't count Biden out Candidates in Obama's orbit fail to capitalize on personal ties MORE.

If confirmed by the Senate, Droegemeier will head the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy. The office has lacked a full-time leader since 2017. The director typically serves as the main science adviser to the president.

ADVERTISEMENT

Droegemeier's expected nomination has been largely hailed by environmentalists due to his background in science.

In contrast, the science community has critiqued a number of Trump's picks for advisers and nominees — such as Rep. Jim BridenstineJames (Jim) Frederick BridenstineTrump goes all in for NASA's Artemis return to the moon program House panel proposes NASA bill that would scrap the lunar base — or maybe not Congress greenlights NASA's crewed moon lander — sort of MORE's appointment to head NASA — for lacking a formal science background.

"He is an experienced scientist with an impressive record of public service. When the appointment happens, the Senate should move quickly to vet and consider his nomination so that the vacuum of science advice within the White House can begin to be filled," Michael Halpern, a deputy director at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a statement.

Droegemeier will head the White House's science and technology arm that so far under Trump has focused on investing in emerging technologies, including a federal program launched last year that aims to grow partnerships between cities and states to study the various uses of drones.

The announcement was well recieved by Republican lawmakers.

Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeOvernight Energy: Controversial Trump adviser reportedly returning to EPA | Delta aims to be first carbon neutral airline | Dem senator gives EPA D-minus on 'forever chemicals' Architect of controversial EPA policies to return as chief of staff: report Democratic senators press Interior official over proposed changes to migratory bird protections MORE (R-Okla.), former chairman on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, called Droegemeier a "proven leader."

“From his time as a professor and service on the National Science Board to his leadership as the Vice President for Research at the University of Oklahoma, he has demonstrated a commitment to the scientific process, an appreciation for investing in research and a dedication to advancing technical achievement," Inhofe said in a statement.

Trump lost his main climate adviser, George David BanksGeorge (David) David BanksOvernight Energy: House energy panel to address climate change at first hearing | DOJ investigating whether Zinke lied to watchdog | Landmark greenhouse gas agreement takes effect Novel international greenhouse gas commitment goes into effect White House nominating new science adviser with extreme-weather background MORE, in February after he was forced to resign when he failed to receive a security clearance due to past marijuana use.