More Examples of White House Doctoring Climate Change Reports

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[Environment]
[Industry]
The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released documents showing "hundreds of instances" where a former and current oil industry lobbyist had edited government reports to downplay the impact of human activities on global warming trends.

Committee chair Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said the documents suggested "a systematic White House effort to minimize the significance of climate change." The edits were by Philip A. Cooney, the former chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Cooney, who has no scientific credentials, worked for the American Petroleum Institute prior to the Bush administration position and is now working for Exxon Mobil. Cooney said that his edits were meant to reflect the "most authoritative and current views of the state of scientific knowledge." NASA climate expert Dr. James Hansen warned at the House hearing, "If public affairs offices are left under the control of political appointees, it seems to me that inherently they become offices of propaganda."

The hearing was part of an investigation, begun under the committee’s Republican chairman last year, into accusations of political interference in climate science by the Bush administration.It became a heated and largely partisan tug-of-war over the appropriate role of scientists and political appointees in framing how the government conveys information on global warming.

The hearing also produced the first sworn statements from George C. Deutsch III, who moved in 2005 from the Bush re-election campaign to public affairs jobs at NASA. There, he warned career press officers to exert more control over James E. Hansen, the top climate expert at the space agency.

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