EDF Seeks Documents about White House Effort to Undermine Climate Science

FOIA Requests Ask 10 Agencies about White House Plans to “Reassess” Established Science

March 26, 2019
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – March 26, 2019) Environmental Defense Fund is asking 10 federal agencies to release documents about a White House effort to undermine scientific studies on climate change.

The White House is reportedly creating a panel to “reassess” the substantial number of government studies confirming that climate change poses a critical threat to human health and safety and to national security. Officials from several agencies were invited to a recent discussion on the topic, but virtually no information has been released to the public. EDF submitted requests last night under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for any related documents or correspondence.

“The fundamental climate security of Americans must be anchored in transparent, factual science – not science fiction conjured in secret by the Trump White House,” said EDF attorney Ben Levitan. “The American people have a right to information about how our government is addressing the dire threat of climate change.”

EDF submitted FOIA requests to the Council on Environmental Quality, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior, the Department of State, the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, NOAA, the National Science Foundation and the Office of Science and Technology Policy for any records “pertaining to an actual or possible review or assessment of climate change, including climate science and climate change impacts.” The requests are for records from November 1, 2018 through the present.

The requests specifically ask for information about the purpose of any possible climate review, any meetings or discussions about a climate review that employees have attended, and any materials that may be under consideration for review – including the National Climate Assessment, the Pentagon Climate Change Report and the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment. Those studies, and the others referred to in the FOIA requests, reflect decades of intensive peer-reviewed research by hundreds of scientists.

EDF’s FOIA requests submitted to each agency are available here:

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