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Publication date: Feb. 8, 2007


Two Congressional Committees heard testimony and evidence in recent weeks of a widespread and systematic effort directed by the Bush White House to censor and suppress communication of federal scientists' findings and conclusions on climate change.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Henry Waxman (D-CA), held a hearing on Jan. 30, 2007, and heard testimony that top-level White House officials rewrote climate science reports and decided which climate scientists could talk to which reporters.

Then on Feb. 7, the Senate Commerce Committee heard similar testimony, along with statements by administration officials. NOAA official Bill Brennan, who heads the federal Climate Change Science Program, said the charges focused not on changes to scientific results themselves, but merely on their communication to the public. James Mahoney, former head of that program, said federal policies were being revised, and that requirements that climate scientists be accompanied by Iraq-style "minders" when talking to journalists would soon be made optional instead of mandatory.

Both panels heard results from a Union of Concerned Scientists survey of federal climate scientists, which found that about half of those responding said they had personally experienced incidents where their findings were manipulated.

Last revised January 22, 2013

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