Inslee, Kerry Applaud Decision Forcing Administration to Comply with Climate Change Law

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The office of Repesentative Jay Inslee (Democrat, Washington) released a press release on 22 August 2007 in response to the court order issued on 21 August 2007 regarding Center for Biological Diversity et al. v. Dr. William Brennan et al.  Senator Kerry and Congressman Jay Inslee had filed a memorandum of Amici Curiae to the court on 17 April 2007.  According to Rep. Inslee, the decision “makes clear that the Bush Administration has been illegally suppressing the scientific facts that link global warming to the very real impacts on our daily lives.”  We provide the full press release.

The following is the full unedited text of the press release:

MEDIA RELEASE
Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Contact:
James Bradbury or Sharmila Swenson
202-225-6311
206-361-0233

Inslee, Kerry Applaud Decision Forcing Administration to Comply with Climate Change Law

      WASHINGTON – Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) supported a federal court decision today that forces the Bush Administration to comply with a statute stating that they must supply the American public with the full story when it comes to climate change. Instead of generating full, comprehensive reports of climate change and its effects on our country, the Administration has parsed its words in disjointed mini-reports to obscure the toll of the damage.

“This is a significant ruling for two important reasons.” Inslee said.  “First, it makes clear that the Bush Administration has been illegally suppressing the scientific facts that link global warming to the very real impacts on our daily lives.  This negligence has crippled this country’s ability to respond to the global warming threat.  Second, the judge has ordered this Administration to produce a congressionally mandated report by next May.  As Congress moves forward with climate change legislation , I pledge to work with my colleagues on the Hill to assure that the final report issued in May follows the spirit and letter of the law.”

In December 2006, Rep. Inslee, with support from 21 other members of Congress, sent a letter to the defendant, Dr. William Brennan stating: “To help Congress shape a well-informed, forward-looking climate change policy, we call on the Bush administration to comply with the law by producing a policy-relevant climate impacts assessment report at the earliest possible date.” Rep. Jay Inslee and Sen. Kerry filed an amicus brief and moved to intervene in support of plaintiffs in the case.

“Given the seriousness of climate change, we need a full picture of the problem and the damage it is inflicting on our country – luckily the court has ruled to protect that information and the public’s right to know,” said Kerry. “Snaking around the law by preparing 21 narrowly-defined reports rather than one overall assessment has clouded the picture and consequently denied the American public information they deserve, and a dashboard for policy makers and scientists to use as a guide while finding solutions to this national problem. Unfortunately, it’s just more of the same from an administration that has taken every opportunity to stall and sabotage the work of America’s scientists.”

In April 2005, at the request of Senators John Kerry and John McCain, the U.S. Government Accountability Office investigated the Bush administration’s failure to produce a 2004 National Assessment. It concluded that 1) the administration “did not submit a scientific assessment in November 2004, 4 years after the previous assessment, as required by the [Global Change Research] act,” 2) the administration expressly refuses to complete a single National Assessment, and 3) the White House’s piecemeal approach lacks an “explicit plan for…assessing the effects of global change on the eight areas enumerated in the act: the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, transportation, human health and welfare, human social systems, and biological diversity.”

Learn more about the amicus brief:

http://www.house.gov/inslee/issues/environment/inslee_joins_warming_lawsuit.html

This entry was posted in Assessments of Climate Impacts and Adaptation, Congress: Legislation and Oversight, Science-Policy Interaction, U.S. Global Change Research Program. Bookmark the permalink.