President Joe Biden’s White House officials have removed Betsy Weatherhead, a top climate science researcher at the White House who was brought on board by a Trump political appointee.
The Washington Post reported on Sunday night that Weatherhead had been removed from her leadership role at the White House Office of Science Technology Policy (OSTP), where she led the federal government’s report on the effects of climate change, and was reassigned to the Interior Department.
Weatherhead was appointed in November by then-OSTP director Kelvin Droegemeier, who had been tapped by former President Donald Trump, who routinely slashed government efforts to combat climate change.
But the Post notes that unlike Trump and most of his officials, both Weatherhead and Droegemeier accepted climate change as real. Additionally, the former was a career official who was widely respected as a mainstream climate scientist.
However, Weatherhead had clashed with other officials on her proposed structure of the report, which is meant to boost climate change policy, according to the Post. One of her ideas that reportedly drew backlash was to incorporate more authors from the private sector.
Weatherhead’s removal speaks to the Biden administration’s emphasis on making a full 180 on the previous administration’s infamous refusal to take climate change seriously and Trump’s practice of installing climate change deniers and coal lobbyists in science-based government agencies.