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Statements from Members of Congress

On January 30, 2007 the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing to investigate political interference in federal climate change science. UCS Senior Scientist Francesca Grifo testified at the hearing about the results of a UCS investigation that uncovered broad interference in communicating scientific results. Many committee members made statements supporting scientific integrity and recognizing the importance of access to scientific information in making policies that affect our health, safety, and environment. A sampling of their comments follow.

Representative Bruce Braley (IA-1)
"These actions will diminish the role of science so scientists cannot make the discoveries that make our country what it is."

Representative William Lacy Clay (MO-1)
"It is imperative that the integrity of research on global warming is ensured...for the health of our children."

Representative Danny Davis (IL-7)
"We cannot and must not let politics trump science—too much is at stake."

Representative Paul Hodes (NH-2)
"Allowing politics to trump science is dangerous business...The American people need good data and good science, not disinformation. They need science unimpeded by political concerns."

Representative Stephen Lynch (MA-9)
"This is very troubling, not only in the sense that scientific data had been distorted in an attempt to misinform the American people, but also the concerted practice of this White House to censor scientists has a chilling effect, not only on these individuals but on the wider scientific community."

Representative Betty McCollum (MN-4)
"While there is a need for science in the realm of political debate, we must fiercely guard against the intrusion of politics into scientific research and discovery... Through transparency we will find accountability, through accountability we will create a new and higher standard. One in which science is required and the science that is given to the American people is correct and accurate."

Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-at large)
"When you consider the danger to public health and our planet due to global warming, political interference in science is a catastrophe that has to be stopped."

Representative John Sarbanes (MD-3)
"Effective and responsible governance at all levels depends on receiving accurate and timely information... Today's hearing is not just about preserving our natural climate, its about preserving the climate for open and honest scientific research and discussion."

Representative Christopher Shays (CT-4)
"Anyone who alters scientific research, especially on issues as important as this, should quit or should be fired."

Representative Chris Van Hollen (MD-8) 
"Billions of dollars are invested in science, but that investment is only as good as the results that are produced. If facets become intertwined with politics then that is tax money wasted...Science should be fact driven not driven by politics, this is the message that we should send to scientists."

Representative Diane Watson (CA-33)
"Political interference on this critical issue is unacceptable. We all live under the same skies and we are here today to investigate and resolve these allegations. Politics has no place in science."

Representative Henry Waxman (CA-30) (Chairman of the Committee)
"I don't want politically correct science; I want the best science possible...We are simply seeking answers to whether the White House's political staff is inappropriately censoring impartial government scientists."

Representative Peter Welch (VT-at large)
"We've learned that outspoken scientists dedicated to following the facts where they lead have had their sound conclusions altered by those motivated by politics not the truth...Politically motivated suppression of science is not only irresponsible by highlights a careless and reckless disregard for the public that all of us are here to serve."

 

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