White House Chief of Staff John Kelly killed an effort by the Environmental Protection Agency to stage public debates challenging climate change science, The New York Times reported.
According to the Times, EPA head Scott Pruitt planned to issue a news release in early November to announce military-style exercises, known as red team, blue team debates, to question the validity of climate change — and to possibly broadcast them live.
But when Kelly learned about the news release, he demanded the debates be delayed until cabinet secretaries and top White House officials could discuss it.
On Dec. 13, the White House convened senior officials to talk it over, and the takeaway, according to the Times, was that every office within the White House was opposed to the debates.
At one point, Kelly's deputy, Rick Dearborn, said the notion of red team, blue team debates was "dead" and should not be mentioned again, the Times reported.
"The chief doesn't want it," Dearborn said, referring to Kelly.
Kelly, a retired four-star Marine Corps general, is said to share the view held by military leaders including Defense Secretary James Mattis, that climate change is happening and poses a serious national security challenge, the Times reported.
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