Climate change programs in the United States

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Learn more from the Center for Media and Democracy's research on climate change.

U.S. Climate Change Science Program

The Global Change Research Act of 1990 mandates the "development and periodic updating of a long-term national global change research plan coordinated through" the National Science and Technology Council. The Act was the "first comprehensive update of a strategic plan for U.S. global change and climate change research since the original plan for the U.S. Global Change Research Program [created as a Presidential Initiative], was adopted at the inception of the program in 1989," according to the July 2003 "Strategic Plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program".

On June 11, 2001, President George W. Bush announced that the Bush administration would establish the U.S. Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI) "to study areas of uncertainty [about global climate change science] and identify priority areas where investments can make a difference.' The Secretary of Commerce, working with other agencies, was directed to 'set priorities for additional investments in climate change research, review such investments, and to improve coordination amongst Federal agencies.'"

In 2002, President Bush established the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) as "part of a new cabinet-level management structure to oversee public investments in climate change science and technology. The new management structure also include[d] the Climate Change Technology Program, which is responsible for accelerating climate-related technology research and development. The CCSP incorporates the U.S. Global Change Research Program, established by the Global Change Research Act, and the Climate Change Research Initiative, established by the President in 2001. The Program coordinates and integrates scientific research on global change and climate change sponsored by 13 participating departments and agencies of the U.S. Government." [1]

The CCSP is under the direction of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and "reports through the Interagency Working Group on Climate Change Science and Technology to the cabinet-level Committee on Climate Change Science and Technology Integration. The chairmanship of these coordinating bodies rotates annually between the Departments of Commerce and Energy, with the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy serving as the Executive Director of the cabinet-level committee." [2]

Controversy

Rick Piltz, the former Senior Associate with the U.S. Climate Change Science Program Office, "a government scientist for 14 years", resigned March 2, 2005, "over concerns that scientific documents were being amended for political reasons. Evidence released by Piltz was reported in the NY Times on June 8. Philip Cooney, the White House official accused of editing the reports, resigned June 10." [3]

On October 3, 2006, "the Greenwire daily news report on environmental and energy policy featured in its #1 position a story on the continuing controversy over the administration’s decision to kill the National Assessment of Climate Change Impacts process and suppress official use of the first National Assessment reports issued in 2000-2001. The article quotes Climate Science Watch Director Rick Piltz as calling this 'the central climate science scandal of the Bush administration.'"—Climate Science Watch Blog, October 4, 2006.

Contact Information (US)

US Climate Change Science Program
Suite 250, 1717 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202 223-6262
FAX: 202 223-3065
Email: information AT climatescience.gov
Website: http://www.climatescience.gov

Documents, Publications & Reports

Legislation

  • S.169: Global Change Research Act of 1990: "A bill to amend the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976 in order to provide for improved coordination of national scientific research efforts and to provide for a national plan to improve scientific understanding of the Earth system and the effect of changes in that system on climate and human well-being"; sponsored by Sen. Ernest F. Hollings, Introduced January 25, 1989, into the U.S. Senate with 26 cosponsors. On November 16, 1990, became Public Law No: 101-606. Narrative.
  • Energy Policy Act of 1992 (Global Climate Change), 42 U.S.C. §§ 13381-13388, October 24, 1992, as amended 1996.

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links

U.S. Government Websites

U.S. Government News/Press Releases

Background: Non-Government Reports

Articles & Commentary