Rick Piltz, a Senior Associate at the Climate Change Science Program who resigned in March, has charged that political officials have been editing scientific reports dealing with climate change. His charges have focused specifically on Philip Cooney, the chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality; Mr. Cooney is a lawyer who previously worked as a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute.

In a number of instances Cooney inserted words to increase the appearance of scientific uncertainty; one such example was his addition of the word “extremely” to this sentence: “The attribution of the causes of biological and ecological changes to climate change or variability is extremely difficult.”

Shortly after these allegations came to light, Cooney resigned from his White House position and almost immediately accepted a position at Exxon Mobile. It is not just Mr. Cooney who has contributed to the downplaying of the scientific consensus on global warming, according to a memo written Mr. Piltz to explain his reasons for resigning, but rather the entire administration’s emphasis on political ends: “Each administration has a policy position on climate change. But I have not seen a situation like the one that has developed under this administration during the past four years, in which politicization by the White House has fed back directly into the science program in such a way as to undermine the credibility and integrity of the program.”




» Rick Piltz's memo (pdf) Written to his superiors upon his resignation, it explains in detail the reasons behind his decision to leave the agency.

» New York Times: Bush Aide Softened Greenhouse Gas Links to Global Warming
» The American Prospect: Lowball Warming