Washington, D.C.– Before it enacts any pending climate regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a legal obligation to evaluate whether the “Climategate” controversy undermines the integrity of the scientific studies that the agency used to justify the proposed rules, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, Wis., ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, said in a letter he sent with other leading members of Congress to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
E-mails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia show a pattern of secrecy and manipulation among leading climate scientists that calls into question some of the conclusions that serve as a foundation for a series of proposed EPA greenhouse gas regulations, the letter said.
Under both the Data Quality Act and the EPA’s Peer Review Guidelines, the agency is obligated to rely on information that is accurate, reliable and unbiased. The EPA used studies by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to support its “endangerment finding,” which would authorize the agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Several of the scientists involved in Climategate were significant contributors to the IPCC, therefore, by impugning the IPCC’s work, Climategate potentially undermines EPA’s endangerment finding.
Several other institutions, including the United Nations and the CRU, have already announced investigations into Climategate. The EPA should follow suit. Additionally, the letter said that the EPA ignored a December request from Sensenbrenner and other members of Congress to review the reach of Climategate before moving forward on greenhouse gas regulations and that statements Jackson made to the press about Climategate didn’t address the members’ concerns.
Rep. Darrell Issa, Calif, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee ranking Republican; Sen. John Barrasso, Wyo., Senate Environment and Public Works Oversight Subcommittee ranking Republican; and Sen. David Vitter, La., Senate Environment and Public Works Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee ranking Republican joined Sensenbrenner in signing the letter.