Government Reform Requests Bush Administration Climate Change Documents

Yesterday, I sent a letter with Chairman Tom Davis to ask the President's Council on Environmental Quality to provide information about serious allegations that a political appointee had tampered with government scientists' and experts' work on global warming.

Last year, the New York Times reported that the council's chief of staff, Phillip Cooney, had altered scientific government reports to downplay the connection between emissions and global warming. The White House claimed last year that Mr. Cooney's edits were routine. Mr. Cooney had no background in science. Before joining the Bush Administration, he'd been an oil industry lobbyist.

Days after the Times story ran, Mr. Cooney resigned. And went to work for Exxon Mobil.

Yesterday's Government Reform Committee hearing on climate change science presented me with an opportunity to ask Chairman Tom Davis to join me in an effort to get to the bottom of the controversy. Our letter asked CEQ's current chairman James Connaughton to provide any internal documents related to climate change, and we expect them by August 11. Chairman Davis has agreed to schedule a hearing with the CEQ chairman after the August recess.