Donald Trump transition team denounces questionnaire that targeted DOE employees working on climate change

"The person who sent it has been properly counseled," according to Trump spokesman Sean Spicer

Published December 15, 2016 4:54PM (EST)

 (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
(AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Donald Trump's transition team on Wednesday denounced a controversial survey it sent to the Department of Energy requesting the names of employees working on climate change.

"The questionnaire was not authorized or part of our standard protocol," Trump spokesman Sean Spicer told Reuters. "The person who sent it has been properly counseled."

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the questionnaire "could have been an attempt to target civil servants, career federal government employees."

Last week, two DOE employees told Bloomberg that the questionnaire — coupled with the appointment of Koch Brothers-affiliated Thomas Pyle as head of the transition's DOE landing team — spooked the Department. Then earlier this week, Trump tapped former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to head the DOE.

Per Bloomberg:

The transition team ... asked the agency to list employees and contractors who attended United Nations climate meetings, along with those who helped develop the Obama administration’s social cost of carbon metrics, used to estimate and justify the climate benefits of new rules.

Earlier this month, The Center for Media Democracy published the Trump administration's energy agenda, which CMD said "outlines fourteen policies to be expected from President-elect Trump, which collectively amounts to a fossil fuel industry wish list and which would be devastating for attempts to slow climate change."

By Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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