Representative Nita Lowey

Representing the 17th District of New York

Lowey Highlights Devastating Local Impacts of the First 100 Days of President Trump’s Anti-Science Agenda

May 1, 2017
Press Release

Nine of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2000

President Trump signed executive order to dismantle Clean Power Plan, proposed unprecedented cuts to NASA, NOAA, and EPA

Lowey secured a $1.7 billion increase for NASA, NOAA, and National Science Foundation in the FY 16 Omnibus to fund research and protect our water and air

PALISADES, NY – Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (D-Rockland/Westchester), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, was joined today by Lamont-Doherty Deputy Director Dr. Arthur Lerner-Lam, Rockland County Legislator Harriet Cornell, scientists, and local environmental groups at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades to highlight the local impact of the first 100 days of President Trump’s anti-science agenda.

After just 102 days, the Trump Administration is already the most anti-science executive branch in history,” said Lowey. “The Lower Hudson Valley is still recovering from the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy, and as climate change accelerates, storms of that magnitude will only become more frequent. We don’t have the option to put our heads in the sand and deny the reality that climate change is real when the safety of our community is at stake. I call on the Trump Administration to accept the overwhelming scientific facts, reverse course, and take immediate steps to combat climate change.”

An overwhelming majority of scientists and most scientific organizations around the world agree that climate change is caused by human activity. Global temperatures have risen roughly two degrees Fahrenheit over the past century, and nine of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2000.

However, in his first 100 days, President Trump has fought to dismantle critical environmental research and climate change initiatives across the federal government. He named climate change denier Scott Pruitt to be Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); signed Executive Orders to gut the Clean Power Plan and other regulations vital to protecting air quality, and proposed to cut critical federal investments in scientific research, including:

●$102 million from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Earth research budget;

●$250 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Sea Grant Program, eliminating it altogether; and

●$2.6 billion from the EPA, gutting climate programs and eliminating a quarter of the agency’s 15,000 jobs.

Friday the Trump Administration announced it was taking down the EPA’s climate change website, uploading a message that reads, “We are currently updating our website to reflect EPA's priorities under the leadership of President Trump and Administrator Pruitt.”

These anti-science initiatives have been deeply disturbing to scientists, local lawmakers, and environmental groups in the Lower Hudson Valley, including Dr. Arthur Lerner-Lam, Deputy Director of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who said, "Now is the time for the US to retain its position in climate research, to have a strong international role and to ensure we have a workforce that can not only conduct research but that knows enough to help build a sustainable future. We are grateful to Congresswoman Lowey. She has been a friend to this institution and a passionate supporter of basic research and its application to policy decisions.”

“With 97% of actively publishing climate scientists in consensus that global warming is caused by humans, the challenge appears to be how to effectively communicate this fact to policymakers and a public that believes there is conflict among scientists,” said Harriet Cornell, Chairwoman of the Environmental Committee in the Rockland County Legislature. “This is not surprising since those who oppose taking action to curb climate change use misinformation to deny the expert consensus.  This poses an enormous danger which must be countered with increased funding for scientific studies that will produce incontestable facts.”

“The Trump administration’s relentless attacks on our air, water, and climate put ideology and corporate polluters ahead of science and public health, creating an unprecedented danger for all families in America,” said Gale Pisha, Secretary of Sierra Club Lower Hudson Valley. “One result of such reckless and nearsighted policies will likely be more devastating superstorms like Sandy, which left a swath of destruction in Rockland and Westchester. Sierra Club joins Congresswoman Lowey in fighting back harder than ever on the national, state, and local levels to slow further climate change; to keep our transition to clean renewable energy moving forward, and to protect our environment for present and future generations.”

“Climate change impacts the Hudson River, our communities, and our drinking water today. It creates increased flooding, powerful storm surges, and saltwater intrusion,” said Paul Gallay, President of Riverkeeper. “These events have been destructive, causing property and infrastructure damage. The big storms driven by climate change have contributed to an increase in waterborne pollution in drinking water systems and the overloading of our wastewater systems. This is not the time to ignore or, even worse, deny the consequences. It’s time for the President to accept the science of climate change and tackle the problem head on.”

Across the country, research facilities like Lamont-Doherty work closely with NASA, NOAA, EPA, and other federal agencies to perform groundbreaking research that improves our understanding of the Earth’s climate. This research is invaluable in helping experts reliably predict global scientific trends and propose policies at all levels of government that protect the environment and ensure the health and safety of Americans.

The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a core component of the Earth Institute - Columbia University, seeks fundamental knowledge about the origin, evolution and future of the natural world. Its scientists study the planet from its deepest interior to the outer reaches of its atmosphere, on every continent and on every ocean, providing a rational basis for the difficult choices facing humanity. In addition to its research on climate, Lamont-Doherty:

●Contributes data to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information data archive on deep sea sediment samples.

●Received NASA and NSF funding to help develop and build an instrument that measures how ice responds to a wide range of conditions important to Earth and planetary science.

After the news conference, Congresswoman Lowey toured Lamont-Doherty’s Core Repository, which contains one of the world’s most unique and important collections of scientific samples from the deep sea. Sediment cores from every major ocean and sea are archived at the Core Repository.

In 2015, Congresswoman Lowey announced a $35 million, five-year cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to manage scientific support services for U.S. scientists conducting oceanic research. As Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Lowey secured a $1.7 billion increase for NASA, NOAA, and National Science Foundation in the FY 16 Omnibus to fund research and protect the health and safety of American families.

###

Issues: