House and Senate Dems Question Interior on Scientific Integrity Violation
Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tammy Duckworth (D- IL), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) wrote to the Department of Interior’s Inspector General asking him to investigate whether the National Park Service (NPS) has violated its scientific integrity policy. The letter came following news that the agency had scrubbed any mention of climate change from a report on the impact of sea level rise and storm surges at NPS sites. At a Senate hearing last month, Secretary Ryan Zinke told Hirono that his department does not censor science. The House side also weighed in. In a letter signed by Members Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Donald McEachin (D-VA), Donald Beyer (D-VA), Niki Tsongas (D-MA), and Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) they question officials on s report that showed NPS officials “deleted every mention of humans’ role in causing climate change” in the drafts of the long awaited sea level rise report. The report -- which still has not been publicly released -- highlights the climate risks at 118 coastal national park sites.they quote Zinke’s statements to their committee last month where he “vehemently denied” any wrongdoing related to a separate U.S. Geological Survey scientific report. Yet, after analyzing 18 different versions of the report, first drafted in the summer of 2016, it was discovered that the word “anthropogenic” was crossed out by an official in a February 2018 draft. And three references to “human activities” causing climate change were removed. As both letters state, this may violate the National Park Service’s scientific integrity policy, which states that managers are prohibited from engaging in “dishonesty, fraud, misrepresentation, coercive manipulation, censorship, or other misconduct that alters the content, veracity, or meaning or that may affect the planning, conduct, reporting, or application of scientific and scholarly activities.” More here.