Arrogant Department of Energy bureaucrats are stonewalling Trump transition team questions

Evidently the mandarins at the top of the Department of Energy believe that taxpayers work for them, not vice versa.  How else to explain the astonishing arrogance of bureaucrats at a federal agency refusing to answer Trump Transition Team questions about their work?  Their hysteria over answering questions has turned to insubordination.  

Arlette Saenz and Maryalice Parks of ABC News quote the arrogant response of the DOE’s spokeshuman:

"The Department of Energy received significant feedback from our workforce throughout the department, including the National Labs, following the release of the transition team’s questions. Some of the questions asked left many in our workforce unsettled," Eben Burnham-Snyder, director of public affairs at the Energy Department said. "Our career workforce, including our contractors and employees at our labs, comprise the backbone of DOE and the important work our department does to benefit the American people. We are going to respect the professional and scientific integrity and independence of our employees at our labs and across our department."

Being “unsettled” is not a legitimate reason to refuse to answer work-related questions from your next boss.  Maybe the law regarding presidential transitions does not invest authority on the incoming team to force compliance.  If so, I eagerly await the confirmation of Rick Perry as head of the DoE and his formal order to answer the questions.  That should clear up any questions about the “independence” of employees who cash a federal paycheck.

Nobody is asking people to change scientific data.  Not like the warmists who “adjust” temperature readings to obtain the results they want.

Department of Energy, D.C. HQ is too cold and ugly to be recycled into the next Trump hotel.

Eric Worrall at Watts Up With That clearly explains what is wrong with this refusal:

Refusing to provide information to the new administration about what staff do with their work time, to me suggests the US Department of Energy believes they are a law unto themselves – they think they are above politicians and political cycles, and intend to continue wasting money on climate programmes, regardless of what the new Trump administration wants.

I say defund the lot of them. The few important roles they perform, such as overseeing the handling of nuclear material and nuclear waste, can be transferred to other departments.

Well, Rick Perry was trying to name the Department of Energy as one of the three federal agencies he would close when post-surgery drugs clouded his memory.  I hope that when he is confirmed and takes the leadership there, he will follow through.

A fascinating analysis of the questionnaire by Willis Eschenbach at Watts Up With That demonstrates that the Trump team is highly sophisticated, and indeed aiming to change policy at the DoE.  That is what politics is for – setting policy.  Employees who collect pay and lavish benefits from the taxpayers do not set policy; they implement it.  If they feel “unsettled” about the new policy, they should leave their jobs.

Here are two examples from Eschenbach if the legitimate – and threatening – questions being asked.

1. Can you provide a list of all boards, councils, commissions, working groups, and FACAs [Federal Advisory Committees] currently active at the Department? For each, can you please provide members, meeting schedules, and authority (statutory or otherwise) under which they were created? 

If I were at DOE, this first question would indeed set MY hair on fire. The easiest way to get rid of something is to show that it was not properly established … boom, it’s gone. As a businessman myself, this question shows me that the incoming people know their business, and that the first order of business is to jettison the useless lumber.


17 Can you provide a list of all Schedule C appointees, all non-career SES employees, and all Presidential appointees requiring Senate confirmation? Can you include their current position and how long they have served at the Department?

Here’s the deal. It’s basically impossible to fire a government worker unless they held up a bank and were caught in the act, and even then you’d have to have full-color video to make it stick. Public employee unions are among the world’s stupidest and most destructive idea … the government unions use their plentiful funds to affect the election of the people who set their pay scale. Yeah, that should go well …

BUT … if you can get rid of their position, then you’re not firing them, you just don’t have further work for them. They are trying to figure out who they can cut. Hair is catching fire on all sides with this one.

Fortunately for the soon to be former bureaucrats at the DoE, employment in the private sector is likely to boom under the next president.  I suggest they get their résumés ready.

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