President Trump has nominated Jim Bridenstine, a Republican congressman from Oklahoma, to head NASA—a peculiar choice for one of the country’s leading science institutions, considering Bridenstine doesn’t seem to understand how science works. What he is known for is his enthusiasm for returning to the moon, denying humanity’s contribution to climate change (science, of course, confirms otherwise), and championing the “secret science” bill, an effort to weaken the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by putting undue burden on scientists. The House passed the bill in 2015, but President Obama threatened to veto it for imposing “arbitrary, unnecessary, and expensive requirements” upon the EPA. If confirmed by the Senate, Bridenstine would be the first career politician to head America’s space agency.
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ExplainerPuerto Rico, New York City, United States, ClevelandBrian Palmer
Let’s not forget what America looked like before we had the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Our rivers caught on fire, our air was full of smog, and it stank (literally).