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 LOL, the heat is ON: Trump’s team is asking for the names of Energy Department employees who worked on climate issues

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PostSubject: LOL, the heat is ON: Trump’s team is asking for the names of Energy Department employees who worked on climate issues   Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:22 pm

Donald Trump’s presidential transition team has asked the Department of Energy for the names of any federal employees who worked on certain aspects of climate policy during the Obama administration — a request that has some onlookers worried about a “modern-day political witch hunt.”

In a memo first reported by Bloomberg and posted by E&E News here, Trump’s team asked the Energy Department a series of 74 questions to prepare for the change in government control. Some of them are perfectly innocuous, like question #49:
Quote :
What should the incoming Administration do to balance risk, performance and ultimately completion in contracting?
But the one that’s really eye-catching is question #27, which reads as follows:
Quote :
Can you provide a list of all Department of Energy employees or contractors who have attended any lnteragency Working Group on the Social Cost of Carbon meetings? Can you provide a list of when those meetings were and any materials distributed at those meetings, EPSA emails associated with those meetings, or materials created by Department employees or contractors in anticipation of or as a result of those meetings?
Some context: Over the last eight years, the Obama administration has developed an internal “social cost of carbon” metric to justify various climate policies, drawing on input from federal agencies across the government. This is an estimate of the climate damage caused by a ton of carbon dioxide emitted. So if a new regulation reduces CO2, that can be used to quantify that regulation’s benefits.
Both Republicans in Congress and various conservatives now on Trump’s transition team, like David Kreutzer of the Heritage Foundation, have fiercely opposed this metric, since it can be used to justify fairly robust climate policies. (Kreutzer has called it “fundamentally flawed”.) It was widely expected that the Trump administration would stop using the social cost of carbon — and they have plenty of leeway to do so.
What’s unusual here, though, is the request for a list of any career agency employees or contractors who even worked on the issue. Indeed, it’s unclear why this would even be necessary. “It reads more like a subpoena than a request for information,” says Michael Halpern, deputy director for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concern Scientists. “I’ve never seen transition teams asking for list of civil service employees.”
In a letter sent to Trump on Thursday, Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) warned that the new Trump administration would be violating the law if it used this information to retaliate against federal employees. "Civil servants should never be punished for having executed policies with which a new administration disagrees," Markey wrote. "That would be tantamount to an illegal modern-day political witch hunt, and would have a profoundly chilling impact on our dedicated federal workforce."
Meanwhile, Teryn Norris, a former White House appointee to the Department of Energy under Obama, pointed to other questions in the memo that asked for the backgrounds and professional memberships of various staffers at the national laboratories. He called this “extremely concerning.”
Quote :
6) The questions on lab researchers - outside positions, prof society memberships, publications, websites - are extremely concerning:
— Teryn Norris (@TerynNorris) December 9, 2016
Now, it’s not at all certain what the Trump administration plans to do with any of this information. Possibly nothing. But given the attacks on mainstream climate science by both Trump and many of the members of his transition team, and given that congressional Republicans have called for changing civil service protections to make it easier to fire federal employees, this is understandably getting a lot of attention.
“The bigger thing here is the context,” Halpern says. “The Trump transition team is full of people who have a proven history of attacking climate scientists and undermining climate science research. Many of these people have long signaled a deep desire to dismantle federal climate science programs. So people are right to be suspicious when the transition team is making lists of people who have worked on climate change risk profiles.”

PURGE the statist mothercluckers!

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