The nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, along with President-elect Trump’s contradictory statements on climate change has researchers concerned.
Researchers fear that a cut in federal funding will cripple climate change research; and that private funding alone would make it difficult to sufficiently conduct studies. The University of Michigan for example, which receives federal funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to study climate change in the Great Lakes region, would feel the effects of a cut in funding. There is also concern that long-term projects such as NASA’s ICESat-2, which has been in development for more than ten years and the satellite is almost ready to be launched, would be discontinued. And with the President-Elects threat to pull out of the Paris agreement, researchers worry that if the United States pulls back on climate change, other countries will take the lead in sustainability and clean energy, and they will be the ones leading the markets in new technology.