Trump Rolls Back Obama-era Environmental Rules


Penn State research experts were quoted in stories written about an executive order President Donald Trump signed Tuesday, March 28, 2017, on energy and climate. Here are a few news clips:


Michael Mann

Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center and a distinguished professor of metrology, was quoted in stories for Forbes Magazine, Voice of America and LiveScience about the order. Here’s an excerpt from the Forbes Magazine piece:

“On Monday, new research came out of Penn State that supports the notion that extreme weather events like floods, drought, heat waves and wildfires are happening more often and that there is a link between the increase and rising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

” ‘We are now able to connect the dots when it comes to human-caused global warming and an array of extreme recent weather events,’ said Michael Mann, a respected atmospheric scientist and and director of the university’s Earth System Science Center.

“Those heavy rains that stressed dams in California and threatened downstream communities, as well as the drought that the rains erased could be just the beginning of a prolonged extreme weather roller coaster ride if Mann’s research holds true and the new Trump trajectory produces its desired results.

“Essentially, the executive order is the administration’s first step in halting all federal action to address climate change, including President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, while at the same time easing restrictions on the extraction of fossil fuels — namely coal, gas and oil.”


David Titley

David W. Titley, director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, professor of practice in the department of meteorology, and professor in the School of International Affairs, was quoted in an article that appeared on The Conversation and the San Francisco Gate. Here’s an excerpt:

“Pennsylvania State University meteorology professor and retired Rear Admiral David Titley agrees with Mattis. ‘Here is how military planners see this issue: We know that the climate is changing, we know why it’s changing and we understand that change will have large impacts on our national security. Yet as a nation we still only begrudgingly take precautions,’ Titley writes.”

Op-ed: Credible climate scientists need to boycott biased congressional hearings

Global temperature difference from average during February. (Image credit/NASA)

David W. Titley, director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, professor of practice in the department of meteorology, and professor in the School of International Affairs, authored an article on The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang blog about current congressional climate science hearings.  Here’s an excerpt:

David Titley

“Unless you’ve been living under a (melting) ice shelf recently, you know by now the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science Space and Technology is holding a climate science hearing Wednesday to probe the ‘assumptions, policy implications and scientific method.’

“This hearing, whose witnesses consist of one mainstream climate scientist and three other witnesses whose views are very much in the minority, is remarkably similar in structure and scope to the climate hearing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) conducted in December 2015 titled ‘Data or Dogma’? So similar that two of the five witnesses from the Cruz hearing will also testify on Wednesday.

“In the past, the science community has participated in these hearings, even though questioning the basics of climate change is akin to holding a hearing to examine whether Earth orbits the sun.


“For years, these hearings have been designed not to provide new information or different perspectives to members of Congress but, rather, to perpetuate the myth that there is a substantive and serious debate within the science community regarding the fundamental causes or existence of human-caused climate change.

“We should no longer be duped into playing along with this strategy.”

Read the full article at


New poll: only 3% of Trump voters regret their vote

Image credit: Penn State

Eric Plutzer, professor of political science and editor of Public Opinion Quarterly, and Michael Berkman,professor of political science and director of Penn State University’s McCourtney Institute for Democracy, recently co-authored an article on The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog about the latest results from the Penn State “Mood of the Nation Poll.” Here’s an excerpt:

Eric Plutzer

“Our Feb. 23-27 poll asked a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Americans to report on how they cast their vote in November. The results of these reports closely align with other national polls, with Hillary Clinton voters comprising 49 percent of the sample, Trump voters 46 percent, with 3 percent and 2 percent for minor-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, respectively.

“Who would vote differently?

Michael Berkman

“On the next screen, we asked everyone, ‘Suppose you could go back in time and vote again in the November election. What would you do?’

“Respondents were presented with the same choices — Trump, Clinton, Stein, Johnson, someone else, or not vote at all. Of the 339 poll participants who originally voted for Trump, only 12 (3½ percent) said they would do something different.

“Only three individuals (fewer than 1 percent of Trump voters) said that, could they go back in time, they would cast their vote for Clinton. Seven said they would vote for one of the minor-party candidates.”

Read the full article at

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