Think globally, fudge the facts locally

At the White House, a former oil industry lobbyist re-writes the reports on global warming.

Published June 8, 2005 2:37PM (EDT)

Why doesn't this kind of thing surprise us anymore?

From today's New York Times: "A White House official who once led the oil industry's fight against limits on greenhouse gases has repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents. In handwritten notes on drafts of several reports issued in 2002 and 2003, the official, Philip A. Cooney, removed or adjusted descriptions of climate research that government scientists and their supervisors, including some senior Bush administration officials, had already approved."

Cooney is the chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, but before that he was the "climate team leader" and a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute, a trade group that represents the oil industry, the Times says. "A lawyer with a bachelor's degree in economics, he has no scientific training."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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