Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords, I –Vt., the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today spearheaded a letter to President Bush asking for a full accounting of reports that White House aides altered the Environmental Protection Agency’s “State of the Environment” report due to be released next week. The following is the text of the letter, signed by U.S. Sens. Jeffords, Joe Lieberman, D – Conn., Bob Graham, D – Fla.: June 19, 2003 President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Bush: We are deeply disturbed to read reports this morning that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the White House have decided to omit data and language pertaining to climate change from the Agency’s upcoming “State of the Environment” report. We would like to know if this is true. According to these reports, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) made decisions to delete from the “State of the Environment” report scientifically sound, consensus-based conclusions about the human contributions to global warming that have been confirmed by the National Research Council and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We would like to know why, and who within the Administration made this decision. Perhaps most distressing are reports that Administration officials substituted into the report for the deleted language a reference to a study partially funded by the American Petroleum Institute that questions the National Research Council’s conclusions. If true, this action brings into question the ability and authority of the EPA or any agency within this Administration to publish unbiased scientific reports. This would dramatically weaken both Congressional and public confidence in the Administration to allow credible, peer-reviewed study to prevail over political agenda. If these reports are accurate, your Administration has done a serious disservice not only to the hard-working professionals at the EPA, but also to the American people and our future. We request all drafts of the report as well as comments prepared by the EPA, OMB, and CEQ. We request a list of all participants involved in review of the document, including all Administration officials and entities outside the Administration. Furthermore, we ask that appropriate actions be taken regarding those responsible for doctoring this report. Sincerely, Senators Jim Jeffords
Joe Lieberman
Bob Graham