Biden Reappoints Climate Official Who Was Removed by Trump

The removal of the scientist, Michael Kuperberg, was part of an effort in the final months of the Trump administration to thwart the National Climate Assessment.,

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Biden reappoints a top climate scientist who was removed by Trump.

Flooding from Hurricane Sally in Pensacola, Fla., in September. The Biden administration has reappointed a top climate scientist, Michael Kuperberg, who had been removed by the Trump administration.Credit…Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

May 19, 2021, 11:32 a.m. ET

The Biden administration has reappointed the scientist responsible for the National Climate Assessment, the federal government’s premier contribution to climate knowledge, after he was removed from his post last year by President Donald J. Trump.

The removal of the scientist, Michael Kuperberg, was part of an effort in the final months of the Trump administration to thwart the climate assessment, which compiles the work of hundreds of scientists and helps shape regulations.

Dr. Kuperberg was replaced last November by David Legates, an academic who had previously worked closely with climate change denial groups. Just days before Mr. Trump left office, Dr. Legates posted a series of debunked scientific reports bearing the logo of the executive office of the president.

The Trump administration also removed the chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which helps coordinate the climate assessment. And it removed a third scientist involved in the previous version of the climate assessment, after she resisted changes sought by the administration.

The reappointment of Dr. Kuperberg, whose title is executive director of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, follows the Biden administration’s creation this month of a Scientific Integrity Task Force, which White House officials have said will “review lapses of scientific integrity and ways to remedy them.”

In a statement, Dr. Kuperberg said he looked forward to helping his office “deliver nonpartisan, science-based results” to guide climate policy.

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