EPA: The 'Environmental Political Agency'

All presidents have done it. Politicizing science by making its conclusions reflect a president's political preferences is nothing new - it's just that Obama pretended it was when he accused Bush of politicizing it.

That said, there is something not only hypocritical but telling in these emails that veteran reporter Declan McCullough writing in CNET News got a hold of from the EPA which show that the agency suppressed a 98 page report on the dangers of carbon dioxide that was skeptical of the science:

The EPA official, Al McGartland, said in an e-mail message (PDF) to a staff researcher on March 17: "The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward...and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision."

The e-mail correspondence raises questions about political interference in what was supposed to be an independent review process inside a federal agency--and echoes criticisms of the EPA under the Bush administration, which was accused of suppressing a pro-climate change document.

Alan Carlin, the primary author of the 98-page EPA report, said in a telephone interview on Friday that his boss, McGartland, was being pressured himself. "It was his view that he either lost his job or he got me working on something else," Carlin said. "That was obviously coming from higher levels."

E-mail messages released this week show that Carlin was ordered not to "have any direct communication" with anyone outside his small group at EPA on the topic of climate change, and was informed that his report would not be shared with the agency group working on the topic.

"I was told for probably the first time in I don't know how many years exactly what I was to work on," said Carlin, a 38-year veteran of the EPA. "And it was not to work on climate change." One e-mail orders him to update a grants database instead.

The administration claims the study was considered before naming CO2 as a dangerous gas and that "openness, transparency, and science-based decision making" was involved in that decision.

If so, why bury the report? Why attack the messenger?

Some transparency, huh?

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