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US interior secretary's school friend crippling climate research, scientists say

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Zinke pal holding up climate research

Prominent US climate scientists have told the Guardian that the Trump administration is holding up research funding as their projects undergo an unprecedented political review by the high-school football teammate of the US interior secretary.

The US interior department administers over $5.5bn in funding to external organizations, mostly for research, conservation and land acquisition. At the beginning of 2018, interior secretary Ryan Zinke instated a new requirement that scientific funding above $50,000 must undergo an additional review to ensure expenditures “better align with the administration’s priorities”.

Zinke has signaled that climate change is not one of those priorities: this week, he told Breitbart News that “environmental terrorist groups were responsible for the ongoing wildfires in northern California and, ignoring scientific research on the issue, dismissed the role of climate change.

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