House Oversight Hearing Will Question Political Influence on Government Climate Scientists

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The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing on January 30 regarding political interference in the work of government climate scientists. The Committee has requested that the White House Council on Environmental Quality provide detailed documentation on CEQ’s role under the Bush administration in influencing the communication of climate change science.

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is the principal oversight committee in the House of Representatives and has broad oversight jurisdiction. In preparation for the hearing, Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ranking Member Tom Davis (R-VA) have requested documents from James Connaughton, Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, related to allegations that officials edited scientific reports and took other actions to minimize the significance of climate change. The letter is posted on the Committee’s Web site. In addition to requesting that CEQ provide the Committee with unredacted copies of about 40 specific documents, Chairman Waxman and Ranking Member Davis have requested:

“…all communications and other documents that (1) were sent to or generated by, reference, or are in the electronic or paper files of any of the following individuals: James L. Connaughton, Philip Cooney, Bryan Hannegan, Marty Hall, Kenneth L. Peel, Bill Holbrook, or Michele St. Martin; and that (2) relate to:

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

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

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

The hearing will be held at 10:00am, in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC.

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