Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) Wednesday called for an investigation into allegations that four federal agencies have sought to cover-up or edit scientific information related to climate change, suggesting that top Administration officials may have asked for the information to be suppressed.
Writing to Dr. John Marburger III, White House Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Lieberman raised the possibility of a concerted effort by the Administration to restrict openness on climate change research at multiple executive branch agencies.
“Allegations that four federal agencies have sought to withhold climate change research are deeply disturbing and suggest an Administration-wide attempt to restrict scientific openness on climate change. These allegations need to be addressed urgently,” Lieberman said. “Climate change is a grave problem facing our country, and it is imperative that our top scientists and researchers are sharing information, not hiding it.”
Citing recent allegations of climate science censorship at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Lieberman asked Marburger to investigate whether any official or unofficial “request or guidance” had been made to these agencies to restrict public dissemination of climate change findings. If no such request or guidance was discovered, Lieberman asked Marburger to determine why the suppression of scientists’ climate change findings occurred simultaneously across four agencies.
Lieberman also wrote to Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, the Administrator of NOAA, calling on him to take action on recent reports that NOAA officials have been discouraging agency scientists from sharing their findings on climate change. He called on Lautenbacher to develop an agency policy for releasing scientific findings to ensure that future research is not withheld. He also asked for an investigation into whether any official guidance was provided to prompt NOAA officials to restrict openness on research related to climate change.
Lieberman’s request comes after an admission from NASA Administrator Dr. Michael Griffin last week that his agency had wrongly prevented a climate scientist from speaking to reporters.
The Senator’s letters may be read at: http://hsgac.senate.gov/_files/Dem_Files/060613Lautenbacher.pdf and http://hsgac.senate.gov/_files/Dem_Files/060613Marburger.pdf