Rep. Issa: Obama's refusal to investigate 'Climategate' emails is 'unconscionable'
By Tony Romm - 12/04/09 12:52 PM ET
The U.N.'s decision this week to investigate whether some of its climate change research had been manipulated constitutes a "direct rebuke" of the Obama administration, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Friday.
The White House's unwillingness to open a similar inquiry could now only be characterized as "a sad abdication of their responsibility to ensure that U.S. policies are not driven by corrupted science and data," the congressman added.
“The very integrity of the report that the Obama administration has predicated much of its climate change policy has been called into question and it is unconscionable that this administration and Congress is willing to abdicate responsibility of uncovering the truth to the United Nations," explained Issa, the ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Motivating Issa's calls for a probe into climate change research, and the U.N.'s decision to launch one, was the publication last month of thousands of e-mails and other documents that global warming skeptics say prove the phenomenon does not exist.
Some of those e-mails contained discussions about how to best portray data sets, among other topics. Scientists maintain their comments have been taken out of context, but those who fiercely oppose the climate change thesis argue the e-mails invalidate all the research.
The U.N. announced it would probe that data this week, mostly because some of the research in question touches on related work either completed or promoted by its own Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
But the White House has largely dismissed the litany of Republican calls to open an inquiry into that research — Issa's included — because its top scientists contend one controversy hardly undermines decades of more reliable research on climate change.
"It is important to understand that these kinds of controversies and even accusations of bias and improper manipulation are not all that uncommon in science, in all branches of science," said Dr. John Holdren, the president's science adviser.