WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says a well-known critic of mainstream climate science findings will step down as a member of the president's National Security Council.

Physicist William Happer has served as an adviser for the past year. He was the point person for efforts to establish a special committee to review climate change and national security.

But that plan faltered after generating opposition from current and former federal officials concerned that the panel would impose a political test on reports issued by science agencies.

A senior administration official says Happer is returning to academia and that the administration thanks him for his "tireless efforts" to ensure the president's policies were "based on transparent and defensible science."

The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss personnel matters.

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