You will recall the recent scandal and the revelation that former oil industry lobbyist Phil Cooney doctored Bush administration global warming reports while with the White House – and then, having served his companies well, went through the revolving door to join ExxonMobil.
You might think the administration would be just a tad wary of condoning this sort of thing. Apparently, not so.
Tomorrow the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is expected to recommend confirmation of OMB official Marcus Peacock to become deputy administrator of EPA. (Also to endorse lawnmower lobbyist Granta Nakayama to become EPA’s head of enforcement. Few apparently find it remarkable that a polluter lobbyist would become the nation’s top environmental cop.)
In preparation for tomorrow’s vote, several committee members asked Peacock and Nakayama to respond in writing to various questions.
One question to Peacock came from Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ):
“I’m sure you are familiar with the case of Phil Cooney, a non-scientist lawyer at the White House who altered science reports on climate change. Do you believe these kinds of alterations of science documents by the White House are appropriate?”
Peacock had the following response:
“Phil Cooney was both a policy specialist and a senior manager involved in the development and conduct of our climate change policies and activities. As someone with expertise on issues relating to climate change and the environment, I believe his participation in the review was appropriate.”
In response to other questions, Peacock trotted out some obviously focus-grouped nonsense about the administration’s attitude towards science and global warming:
“I want to assure you that this Administration emphasizes the importance of using sound, credible, peer-reviewed science to inform its policies and decisions. EPA follows rigorous peer-review standards for all of its scientific products to ensure the soundness and credibility of their results.
The Bush Administration supports sound science and has made a strong commitment to climate change science.”