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 TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest 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 ObamaKrystal Ball tears into 'Never Trump' Republicans Sanders campaign announces it contacted over 1 million Iowa voters Iowa Steak Fry to draw record crowds for Democrats 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 BridenstineSanders NASA plan is definitely Earth first When you fail to soft-land on the moon, try, try again Is the Senate ready to protect American interests in space? 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 InhofeNegotiators kick off defense bill talks amid border wall, Iran debates House rejects GOP motion on replacing Pentagon funding used on border wall Republicans wary of US action on Iran 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.