Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Zinke grilled about edited science report

House Democrats grilled Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke this week about National Park Service officials deleting all references to the human cause of climate change in drafts of a long-awaited report. Zinke told a House Appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday that he and other political appointees at the Interior Department, which oversees the Park Service, have not seen the draft. And he repeated a vow that he will not censor scientific reports. Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting last week reported that Park Service officials had edited the scientific report, which outlines the risks of sea level rise and storm surge at 118 coastal national parks. Groups of Senate and House Democrats on Friday requested an investigation by the Interior’s inspector general. At the hearing, Zinke said the drafts were obtained through a public records request to a university and that he wants an investigation into how the media reviewed the drafts before he did. Rep. Chellie Pingree told Zinke she is concerned about sea level rise at Acadia National Park in her home state of Maine. “When that report comes out, I personally don’t want to see it edited to remove any reference,” she said. Zinke responded, “If it’s a scientific report, I’m not going to change a comma.” Earlier in the hearing, Rep. Betty McCollum, a Democrat from Minnesota, referred to a similar vow Zinke made last month at a Senate hearing. “You even challenged any member to find an altered document and now we have that proof,” she said. “This clear interference of political leadership is forcing employees to violate their scientific integrity policies and it must stop...MORE

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