Trump Transition Team Demand for Names of Staff Who Worked on Climate “Brings to Mind Past Witch Hunts” -- EDF

Statement of EDF Chief Scientist Dr. Steven Hamburg – December 9, 2016

December 9, 2016
Keith Gaby, 202-572-3336,

“I am deeply concerned about reports that President-elect Trump’s transition team has demanded the names of ‘Department [of Energy] employees and contractors who have worked on forging an international climate pact as well as domestic efforts to cut the nation’s carbon output.’ This worrisome development brings to mind past witch hunts in our history – except this time the targets are scientists and other public servants seeking to leave a better world for our children and grandchildren.

“These actions have the potential to harm science, research, and policymaking, and to do damage to our efforts to reduce climate pollution. Non-partisan career public servants should not have to worry that their actions – in carrying out their duly assigned job responsibilities – will threaten their jobs or positions. It is hard to see why such a list would be created except for the purpose of punishing, excluding or attacking the work of those who were asked to focus on clean energy and climate issues. Actions like this happen during the transfer of power in authoritarian regimes, but are alien to our republican traditions. 

“Another branch of the President-elect’s transition team has already recommended shutting down the world-leading climate science work of NASA. Suppressing science and gathering the names of employees doing important clean energy work are deeply worrisome actions. We will fight to protect those working to create a healthier world, and defend this nation’s important traditions of democratic governance.”

            - Dr. Steven Hamburg, Chief Scientist for Environmental Defense Fund

# # #

Environmental Defense Fund (, a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.