Witness testimony and other documents and an archived Webcast are available from the January 30 hearing on “Allegations of Political Interference With the Work of Government Climate Change Scientists” held by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
- House Oversight Hearing Will Question Political Influence on Government Climate Scientists (24 Jan 07)
- House Oversight hearing follow-up: More news and editorial coverage (11 Feb 07)
- House Oversight Jan. 30 hearing follow-up: News coverage (10 Feb 07)
The Oversight Committee held a hearing on January 30 regarding political interference in the work of government climate change scientists. Witness testimony and other documents related to the hearing are posted on the Committee's Web site, including:
Witness written testimony submitted for the hearing record:
- Dr. Francesca Grifo [PDF], Senior Scientist and Director of the Scientific Integrity program, Union of Concerned Scientists
- Rick Piltz [PDF], Director, Climate Science Watch, Government Accountability Project, and former Senior Associate, U.S. Climate Change Science Program
- Dr. Drew Shindell [PDF], Goddard Institute for Space Studies, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr.[PDF], Professor in the University of Colorado's Environmental Studies Program and a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences
In preparation for the hearing, Chairman Waxman and Ranking Member Davis requested documents from the Council on Environmental Quality related to allegations that officials edited scientific reports and took other actions to minimize the significance of climate change. Posted documents include:
Memo to Committee Members Regarding White House Council on Environmental Quality Documents
Letter to CEQ Chairman James Connaughton.
In addition, the Committee has posted Atmosphere of Pressure: Political Interference in Federal Climate Science, an investigative report by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and the Government Accountability Project (GAP) that has uncovered new evidence of widespread political interference in federal climate science. The report, co-authored by GAP Staff Attorney Tarek Maaserani, also is posted on the UCS and GAP Web sites. Dr. Grifo of UCS discussed the findings and recommendations of this report in her testimony.
We strongly recommend that readers examine this important report, which includes the results of both a survey of federal climate scientists and a number of case studies. The report has a solid set of recommendations for reforms to ensure that federal scientists have the freedom to communicate their findings without political interference, and to ensure that the public has access to unfettered communication about the findings of taxpayer-funded research.
Having participated in the hearing we are biased, but we found the hearing to have numerous interesting and valuable exchanges. The hearing was aired on C-Span and a Webcast is archived on the C-Span Web site. (You have to page through the archived programs until you get from the most recent listings back to the January 30 programs.)
The hearing was well-attended by committee members and was about 3 hours, 40 minutes in duration. To annotate just a bit on the timing of the Webcast:
- Opening statements by Committee Chair Henry Waxman (D-CA), Ranking Member Tom Davis (R-VA), and other committee members occupy more than an hour at the beginning, until about 1:10.
- Witness oral testimony runs from 1:11 until 1:39. Ours is from 1:20-1:27.
Q&A starts at 1:39 and continues for 2 hours. With times approximate:
- We were questioned by:
- Mr. Davis (D) at 1:51,
- Mr. Issa (R) at 1:56,
- Ms. Watson (D) at 2:06,
- Mr. Tierney (D) at 2:13,
- Mr. Lynch (D) at 2:20,
- Mr. Higgins (D) at 2:25,
- Mr. Shays (R) at 2:28,
- Mr. Sarbanes (D) at 2;41,
- Mr. Yarmuth (D) at 2:58,
- Mr. Issa (R) again at 3:02,
- Mr. Waxman at 3:08,
- Mr. Braley (D) at 3:20 and 3:25, and
- Mr. Welch (D) at 3:29 and 3:32.