By Nicky Sundt
CSPW Senior Fellow
We reported on Friday, October 20th, that the charter of the interagency Subcommittee on Global Change Research (SGCR) was set to expire the next day on Saturday, October 21, 2017. The SGCR is a subcommittee of the committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Sustainability (CENRS) of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). It is responsible for overseeing the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). Climate Science and Policy Watch had for months been trying to obtain the current SGCR charter from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and on Wednesday October 18th, finally received a copy in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
In our piece, Charter Set to Expire for Interagency Subcommittee Overseeing Federal Climate Research (October 20th, 2017), we noted that there were several possible scenarios going forward. “One scenario is that the SGCR charter is extended once again. This could happen before the current charter expires or sometime soon.” That indeed is what has happened. On Monday, October 23rd, we obtained a copy of an extension to the charter. The latest extension, dated Friday, October 20th, pushes the expiration date to April 21, 2018. It is the second consecutive 6-month extension of the charter. The extension was signed by Chloe Kontos, the Executive Director of the NSTC. The original Obama-era charter that is being extended was valid for well over 3 years. It was adopted in September 2013 under President Obama and expired January 20th, 2017.
The original charter that is being renewed says that “[u]nless renewed by the co-chairs of the CENRS prior to its expiration, this charter of the SGCR shall terminate no later than January 20, 2017.” The extensions made under the Trump Administration explicitly note that before the expiration dates, the SGCR can be terminated by the Assistant to the President on Science and Technology or by the NSTC Executive Director.
Stay tuned for further updates.
Nicky Sundt is CSPW’s Senior Fellow. She is an expert on energy and climate change with over 35 years of experience and accomplishment in government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. During the four-month fellowship, Nicky will watch over and report on key US federal climate science obligations under law – especially those relating to communications to the President, Congress, and the public.