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Holdren on Hold

The Washington Post is reporting today that the nomination of John Holdren for the top presidential science advisor has been held up in Congress. Furthermore his nomination, along with Jane Lubchenco for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, is reportedly only being blocked by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) to call attention to an unrelated Cuba matter.

This is silly. Now is not the time to be playing politics with scientists as pawns. The United States is facing too many critical science related issues from climate change, to an energy crunch, to stem cell research, to be bouncing around important positions like this.

Holdren is currently director of the Woods Hole Research Center. Before focusing on the environment and policy, he specialized in plasma physics research. Once confirmed he would be the chief advisor to the president on all science matters.

Lubchenco hails from Oregon State University and as head of the NOAA would be in charge of all ocean and atmosphere research conducted by the federal government.

The unnamed source who pointed to Menendez as the source of the anonymous hold said it had nothing to do with the qualifications of the individuals. Should Menendez lift the hold, it's likely that Holdren and Lubchenco would be quickly confirmed.



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