Jun 8, 2019

White House blocks testimony on climate change for not following administration's views

The White House stopped State Department intelligence analyst Rod Schoonover from providing written testimony on climate change this week, because "the science did not match the Trump administration's views," the New York Times reports.

Driving the news: Among other complaints from the National Security Council, the final basis for blocking Schoonover's testimony was to eliminate 5 scientifically-based pages that "described the various national security threats linked to climate change, like instability from water shortages in some parts of the world," per the NYT.

The intrigue: "I have never heard of basic facts being deleted from or blocked from testimony," Norman J. Ornstein, a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, told the NYT.

The backdrop: The White House has criticized findings on climate change from the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which was overseen by scientists and officials in the Trump administration. The White House also proposed a National Security Council committee to question the findings of federal climate science reports — which includes a prominent skeptic and is opposed by 58 former national security leaders.

The bottom line: Schoonover was allowed to appear before the House Intelligence Committee, but was not allowed to submit his office's statement for the record — "because it did not, in the words of one official, 'jibe' with what the administration is seeking to do on climate change," the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters, per Axios' Amy Harder: The official government position on climate change has ripple effects throughout both domestic and international science deliberations. The Trump administration is escalating its attacks on established climate science.

Read Schoonover's testimony, with comments from the National Security Council:

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