Lawmaker criticizes White House over plans to influence science in national climate report
Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) on Wednesday warned the White House against interfering with science in its congressionally mandated report on climate change.
“Any political interference into the climate science that underpins this report could have a chilling effect on science research going forward and could potentially put American lives and property at increased risk by understating the urgency of climate action,” Markey wrote in a letter to the White House’s director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
The letter follows a report in The New York Times that officials in the office, which oversees the release of the National Climate Report, would no longer include data on the highest-emissions scenario.
Such data lays out the worst-case impacts of global warming if emissions aren’t curbed at current rates.
Markey, who heads the Senate Climate Change Task Force formed by Democrats, said he wanted an explanation of how the administration could think of changing the scientific measurements in the report.
Such a move, Markey said, would “artificially and unjustifiably understate the risks that climate change presents to the United States, and would misinform federal and state action taken in response to this threat.”
The last climate assessment was released in November and its findings were dire. The results found that if emissions continue unabated, it would cost the country hundreds of billions in economic losses.
Administration officials downplayed the report at the time by characterizing its findings as the “worst case scenario.”
Markey is one of the most outspoken Democrats on climate change and is a co-sponsor of the progressive Green New Deal climate action plan.