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Publication date: Mar. 22, 2007

DOCUMENTS REVEAL MORE WHITE HOUSE SCIENCE CENSORSHIP; VP OFFICE IMPLICATED

Scores of new instances of White House censorship of scientists, especially regarding climate change, were revealed March 19, 2007, at a hearing of the House Oversight Committee. Bush administration officials defended the practice as proper, saying science needed to be kept in line with President Bush's policies.

Investigators for the committee, chaired by Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), had acquired many new documents showing scientists' findings being changed by political appointees, typically at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. CEQ head James Connaughton and his former chief of staff Phil Cooney (who did much of the editing of science documents) testified under oath, defending the practice.

Cooney had been a lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute on climate issues immediately before being appointed to CEQ. He resigned abruptly in 2005 when his involvement in editing climate science documents was the subject of a story by Andrew C. Revkin in the New York Times. A few days after that resignation, he was hired by ExxonMobil.

Waxman said the documents showed "there was a concerted White House effort to inject uncertainty into the climate debate" over subjects on which scientists had almost no uncertainty.

At the hearing, prominent NASA scientist James Hansen described how a 24-year-old political appointee whose main qualification was having worked on the Bush campaign refused to authorize him to talk to news media.


Last revised January 22, 2013

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