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Public Statements

Letter to Senator John D. Rockefeller Chairman Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Commerce Members to Rockefeller: Investigate Climategate

Scientists receiving taxpayer funding may have committed fraud by manipulating global warming data

Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) and five other members of the Senate Commerce Committee wrote to Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) demanding he keep his word to investigate "manipulation" of data members rely on to create laws by opening a full committee investigation into the news that scientists manipulated data relating to global warming research. Some of the scientists involved in the emerging scandal are recipients of U.S. taxpayer funding through the science agencies under the jurisdiction of the Commerce Committee. Senator DeMint was joined on the letter by U.S. Senators Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), John Ensign (R-Nevada), Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), David Vitter (R-Louisiana), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi).

"The Commerce Committee cannot ignore this Climategate scandal because taxpayers deserve answers," said Senator DeMint. "I hope the Chairman lives up to his promise to investigate manipulation which is precisely what appears to have happened with these scientists that we are supposed to depend on for unbiased information. We need a real and in depth investigation from the Commerce Committee before Congress proceeds on a jobs-killing massive energy tax hike based on fraudulent data. The stakes are too high to do anything less."

The letter reads in part: "A number of federal and independent scientists receiving federal funds are included in the emails and documents. There is clearly more information that federal researchers and researchers receiving federal funds could provide to the committee. The American people deserve to know that federal scientific funding is not being used to distort science to reach a political end. The public is only privy to the emails that whistle blowers have disclosed and this Committee needs to provide confirmation that American taxpayer dollars are not being misused. We urge you to open an official bipartisan investigation utilizing all the tools at the committee's disposal to get to the truth in this matter. Without it, Congress will be making serious policy decisions with misleading and faulty scientific data."

December 8, 2009

Senator John D. Rockefeller
Chairman
Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Rockefeller:

When you assumed the chairmanship of this committee you announced an aggressive oversight agenda for the committee. When announcing the new rules for the committee you stated, "This Committee must and will bring in to Congressional and public view important information about how well the laws and programs under our jurisdiction work, and we stand ready to address manipulation or neglect by either the Executive Branch or outside parties as needed." The recent disclosure of the manipulation of scientific evidence by climate researchers is exactly the kind of important information that needs to be brought to light.

The emails and documents recently disclosed paint an alarming picture of the state of climate research. In the emails that have been disclosed we've seen evidence of manipulation, efforts to avoid freedom of information act requests, abuse of the peer review process and a research process that is driven more by a political agenda than a quest for the truth.

Some examples include:

This email from Mr. Kenneth Trenberth from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (which receives tens of millions in federal funding from the agencies under our jurisdiction):

"The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate."

Or this email from Dr. Phil Jones - who was recently suspended from his post at the University of East Anglia - to three academic researchers in the U.S. (all of whom were receiving federal funds):

"PS: I'm getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data. Don't any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act!"

Or this email from Dr. Andrew Manning to Dr. Phil Jones that highlights the climate research industry that has grown up around cap and trade:

"Hi Phil, is this another witch hunt (like Mann et al.)? How should I respond to the below? (I'm in the process of trying to persuade Siemens Corp. (a company with half a million employees in 190 countries!) to donate me a little cash to do some CO2 measurments here in the UK - looking promising, so the last thing I need is news articles calling into question (again) observed temperature increases"

Or this email from Phil Jones to Penn State Professor Michael Mann (who receives and oversees millions of dollars in federal climate research funding) regarding the inclusion of research critical of the influence of humans on climate:

"I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report, Kevin and I will keep them out somehow -- even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"

Our concern is that these emails only show a small picture of possible scientific fraud. A number of federal and independent scientists receiving federal funds are included in the emails and documents. There is clearly more information that federal researchers and researchers receiving federal funds could provide to the committee.

The American people deserve to know that federal scientific funding is not being used to distort science to reach a political end. The public is only privy to the emails that whistle blowers have disclosed and this Committee needs to provide confirmation that American taxpayer dollars are not being misused.

We urge you to open an official bipartisan investigation utilizing all the tools at the committee's disposal to get to the truth in this matter. Without it, Congress will be making serious policy decisions with misleading and faulty scientific data.

Sincerely,

Sam Brownback
John Ensign
Johnny Isakson
Jim DeMint
David Vitter
Roger Wicker


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