Sensenbrenner, Issa Seek Protections for EPA Analyst Disputing Climate Science

July 21, 2009

Sensenbrenner, Issa Seek Protections for EPA Analyst Disputing Climate Science

‘This is Not the ‘Free and Open Inquiry’ Promised by President Obama’

Washington, D.C.– Investigators uncovered “serious and credible” allegations of retaliation by the Environmental Protection Agency against two staff analysts who raised questions about the thoroughness of the scientific data that the EPA used to help craft a recent climate ruling, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wrote in a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

Dr. Alan Carlin, a 37-year veteran of the EPA, was denied an opportunity to include his report on climate science into the EPA’s proceeding on greenhouse gas regulations.  Subsequently, he was forbidden from doing any work on the climate issues he had previously handled and has been reassigned to more menial tasks, the letter said.
 
“Dr. Alan Carlin was merely trying to update EPA’s record, but because the scientific research he cited didn’t support the agency’s political goals, he was relegated to the sidelines,” said Sensenbrenner, the ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. “This is not the ‘overwhelming transparency’ that Administrator Jackson promised, or the protection of ‘free and open inquiry’ that the President promised.  The Administration is playing dirty to go green.”
 
The letter asks Jackson to provide internal e-mails and other documents that describe how Dr. Carlin was treated. Dr. Carlin’s report raised questions about EPA’s reliance on the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, arguing that more recent data was available. Additionally, the letter asks Jackson to answer a series of questions relating to Dr. Carlin’s current employment status.
 
“Just as House supporters of cap and trade had to buy off opposition to a national energy tax, the EPA’s need to silence dissenting views is a sign of weak underlying arguments,” said Issa, ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  “The total politicization of this process makes a sham of claims by the Administration that it is based on sound science.”
 
Staff members of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global warming and the Government Oversight Committee interviewed EPA staff members after learning that officials had blocked Carlin’s report.  Investigators learned that EPA was also attempting to reorganize its National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE,) which employed Carlin and another EPA staffer who worked on the report.  The letter said that reorganizing the NCEE would potentially eliminate the scientific staff from the NCEE – “effectively disbanding the staff who argued that the science underlying EPA’s endangerment record should be updated.”
 
“The perception of retaliation against career civil servants, whose only offenses are to raise legitimate questions during review of a regulatory decision, raises serious questions about political retribution,” the letter said.  “Given your many commitments to the American people to an open and transparent process at EPA, we are alarmed that such activities are occurring under your watch.”
 
The letter also said that investigators discovered a “polarized culture” at EPA that resulted in a “battle” between “climate believers and climate skeptics.” “Objective science was getting lost,” the letter said.
 

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Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming - Republicans
H2-344 Ford House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-0110 | Fax: (202) 225-0095

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