Waxman: White House censored climate scientists

A new report from a House committee said Monday that the White House has engaged in a “systematic” effort to “censor climate scientists.”

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According to the report, compiled for House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the Bush administration has sought to restrict media access to government scientists and has also edited congressional testimony.

“The evidence before the committee leads to one inescapable conclusion: The Bush administration has engaged in a systematic effort to manipulate climate change science and mislead policymakers and the public about the dangers of global warming,” according to the document.

The report, written by the Democratic committee staff, also asserts that the Bush administration’s actions seeking to muddy the waters on climate change could come straight out of the oil industry’s playbook.

Panel Republicans strongly objected to the findings and lamented that an inquiry that had begun as a bipartisan fact-finding mission had been turned into a political document.

“The majority has relied on selective passages from two hearings, one deposition, and one transcribed interview to make grossly exaggerated claims of political interference with climate change science,” according to the minority response.

“The majority report is filled with evidence of deep animus toward the Bush administration, animus that ultimately and unfortunately colors the conclusions,” the GOP response states. “From the disregard of available evidence to the failure to investigate those matters that already fit neatly into the majority’s views, the report is biased and incomplete.”

The Democratic staff said there is evidence that the White House sought to control the access of the media to some government climate scientists. In addition, the White House also edited congressional testimony and climate change reports.

However, Republicans responded that such changes were not as significant as the Democrats are charging and that the majority “appears not to understand the interagency review process.”