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The Source: Science In DC Fraught With Political Battles


Last week, seven leading science organizations wrote to the Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. They expressed "Grave Concerns" over his handling of a recent report produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and published in the peer-reviewed journal Science. The study dismissed the idea that there had been a pause in climate change, and that the world was still experiencing a warming climate.

Congressman Smith has indicated he believes the report to be flawed, and intentionally so. He had threatened subpoenaing scientists and compelling emails from their interactions with other agencies and scientists. The head of the NOAA responded with a letter saying he wouldn't allow his scientists to be intimidated.

Smith would then instead ask for emails of non-scientists at NOAA, believing the Obama administration to be trying to influence political appointees. Democratic members of his committee have criticized his actions as a "witch hunt."


  • Rep. Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio), Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology 
  • Vicki McConnell, Executive Director of the Geological Society of America
  • Christine McEntee, Executive Director of the American Geophysical Union
  • Dr. Keith Seitter, Executive Director American Meteorological Society
Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive. TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.