House Government Reform Committee calls for White House CEQ climate change documents


In a July 20 letter to the Chairman of the the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, House Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) and Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-CA) requested CEQ provide the Committee with various types of “documents that would shed light on interactions between CEQ and other government agencies and outside parties relating to the Administration’s position and public communications on climate science.” The letter refers to former CEQ Chief of Staff Philip Cooney and asks for documentation of his activities related to climate change.

Climate Science Watch has information and recommendations pertaining to investigation of this matter, beyond issues that have previously received widespread attention, and will communicate with the committee as appropriate.

The Davis-Waxman letter is dated the same day as the Government Reform Committee’s hearing last week on “Climate Change: Understanding the Degree of the Problem,” at which Mr. Connaughton was the administration’s lead political witness.  Hearing testimony is posted on the Committee’s web site

Full text of the letter, which is also posted here as a PDF file:  Davis-Waxman-CEQ-ltr21Jul06.pdf

July 20,2006

Mr. James L. Connaughton
Council on Environmental Quality
722 Jackson Place, NW
Washington, DC 20503

Dear Chairman Connaughton:

Thank you for your participation in the hearing on climate change. We have some additional questions regarding the Administration’s activities relating to climate change that were not explored at the hearing, and we would like your assistance in obtaining certain documents related to these activities.

Specifically, we are interested in documents that would shed light on interactions between the Council on Environmental Quality and other government agencies and outside parties relating to the Administration’s position and public communications on climate science. Among other issues, there has been substantial controversy regarding the actions of the former chief of staff for CEQ, Phillip Cooney. Mr. Cooney, who is not a scientist, was reported to have been active in editing scientific reports on global warming produced by other government agencies.

We request that you provide to the Committee all communications and other documents relating to:

(1)  Mr. Cooney’s activities related to climate change;

(2)  CEQ’s review of and suggested edits to materials produced by other federal agencies regarding climate change;

(3)  Efforts by CEQ to manage or influence statements made by government scientists or experts to representatives of media regarding climate change;

(4)  CEQ’s communications with other federal agencies regarding climate change science; and

(5)  Contacts between CEQ and any nongovernmental party related to climate change.

This request does not encompass documents that CEQ has previously made publicly available.  Please provide the requested documents by August 11,2006.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.


Tom Davis

Henry A. Waxman
Ranking Member

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