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US climate scientists gagged?

EnvelopeWe at Greenbang have written many times about the US government’s unwillingness to listen to its own environmental advisors. You have to admit, the government does it with some flair, ignoring emails and hiring Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chiefs that don’t listen to its own scientists.

A letter leaked earlier this week suggests that it has gone further still. According to the letter, the EPA has ordered employees to keep schtum.  They may not talk to internal auditors, Congress or the media.  Well done that team.

The letter was released by the campaign group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (Peer) with a statement citing the email as proof of a “bunker mentality” at the agency.

The extract from the email printed in the Guardian is particularly nice:

“If you are contacted directly by the [auditors’] office or [congressional investigators] requesting information of any kind … please do not respond to questions or make any statements.”

It has to be said, the level of belligerence shown to the media has become farcical.  It also begs the question, why does the US EPA employ scientists?

Naturally, the EPA has gone into defence mode.  Roxanne Smith, the agency’s spokeswoman, has already been pushed in front of reporters.  The email was, of course, sent out to help streamline communications and definitely not to restrict conversation between EPA staff and investigators. Hmm, that’s cleared that up, then.

Oh well, Bush will be out soon.

The release from Peer and links to the gag order and the EPA’s response can be found here.

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