Obama’s Energy Department Refuses to Cooperate with Trump: Won’t Name Global Warming Workers

Obama’s Energy Department Refuses to Cooperate with Trump: Won’t Name Global Warming Workers

The Department of Energy is being less than cooperative with the Trump transition team’s request to identify those who have worked on climate change within the department and some point to concerns on what the new administration will do with the list of names. President-elect Donald Trump has been on both sides of the issue, so I’m not too sure these government ‘workers’ actually know what Trump is going to do.

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NPR’s correspondent, Jennifer Ludden, explained that the request of such names was included in a 74-question document distributed to the agency’s workforce. Jennifer went on to say, “The Trump team wants the names of career employees and contractors who have attended U.N. climate talks over the past five years. It also wants emails about those meetings.”

On Tuesday, the department released a statement saying that they could not abide by the request. Spokesman Eben Burnham-Snyder had this to say:

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“We are going to respect the professional and scientific integrity and independence of our employees at our labs and across our department.”

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The questionnaire had been seen among employees and critics as a sign of things to come. Mainly a sort of inquisition of climate scientists by the next administration. Jennifer continued to speak to Weekend Edition:

“They’re unnerved. They’re concerned. They say this kind of letter is not really normal…. [Sen. Ed Markey] sent a letter to Trump warning that if people are penalized for simply doing their jobs that it’s going to amount to an ‘illegal political witch hunt’ — that’s a quote. The Union of Concerned Scientists … also issued a statement saying this seems designed to intimidate workers. And they said it, quote, ‘smacks of McCarthyism.'”

Jennifer also shared her thoughts on Trump’s plans to break from the Obama administration’s policies to reduce carbon emissions:

“He said he wants to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate deal. He’s talked about … job-killing regulations he wants to end. And then … we got more insight this week. He named his head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. [Pruitt] has expressed skepticism about climate change, and he helped spearhead this lawsuit by 28 states to try to overturn President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Now, I should say that at this point we’ve not heard of any list of questions like this going around at the EPA.”

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