Monday, March 14, 2016

Budget talk could lead to accusations over climate emails

The head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will come face to face this week with Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who has waged a monthslong effort to force the agency to hand over scientists' emails. NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan will testify about her agency's fiscal 2017 budget request in front of the Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Environment. Smith, who heads the full committee, will attend and will likely mention "NOAA climate oversight," according to the panel. Smith, a climate change doubter, began pressuring NOAA last year to hand over internal emails discussing a study that disputed the global warming "pause." The agency refused to hand over scientists' emails but did provide the panel with emails from other employees that referred to the study (E&E Daily, Dec. 17, 2015). In a letter last month, Smith accused the agency of possibly withholding some emails because it asked employees to search their own emails. He asked for NOAA to submit all emails from employees within certain offices that included various keywords, including "climate" or "change." "The search terms selected by NOAA officials appear to be unnecessarily narrow and the Committee fears that they may not accurately capture the breadth and scope of documents responsive to the Committee's subpoena," Smith wrote in the letter. "Moreover, the speed with which NOAA has conducted these searches and produced documents creates the perception that the Agency is deliberately attempting to impede and hinder the Committee's oversight."...more

No comments: