Search Results for Lamar Smith

Lamar Smith and Selective Transparency: Why I’ll Be Livetweeting the EPA Scientific Integrity Stakeholder Meeting

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

For the past few years, the Environmental Protection Agency has held a meeting with outside groups to discuss its annual scientific integrity report. All kinds of organizations have attended in the past, from the American Chemistry Council (which represents chemical companies) to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which represents scientists) to the American Lung Association (which represents people who breathe). They’re all invited again to this year’s meeting on June 14. Read more >

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Sharing Our Climate Deception Research with Lamar Smith (Again)

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

The House Science Committee is continuing to pursue its baseless and dangerous subpoenas that, if enforced, would strike a significant blow to the First Amendment. Yesterday, we sent a response to committee Chairman Lamar Smith’s latest letter, and this time we sent it with 1300+ pages of documents that detail our very public work to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for deceiving the public about climate change science. In doing so, we again respectfully refused to comply with the subpoena for our internal correspondence and stated our continued commitment to defending our rights under the United States Constitution. Read more >

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Photo: NASA HQ/CC BY (Flickr)

House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith Defends ExxonMobil, Subpoenas Union of Concerned Scientists: An FAQ

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

Today House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith sent congressional subpoenas to several attorneys general and nonprofit organizations—including the Union of Concerned Scientists—demanding access to correspondence among these groups and between these groups and the attorneys general offices. Read more >

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ExxonMobil, Chairman Lamar Smith, and the First Amendment

, president

UPDATE (July 13, 2016): UCS has denounced a subpoena issued by Chairman Smith.

UPDATE (July 13, 2016): UCS has responded to a third request letter and subpoena threat from Chairman Smith.

UPDATE (June 27, 2016): UCS has responded to the second request letter from Chairman Smith.

UPDATE (June 24, 2016): On June 17, UCS received a second request letter from Chairman Smith seeking the same documents. We will respond in a timely manner. UCS rejected the first request letter on June 1. Meanwhile, House Science Committee Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson just released a letter calling on Chairman Smith to “immediately cease this abuse of authority.” The letter details how Chairman Smith has wholly misrepresented the purpose of the attorneys’ general investigation and calls into question the constitutionality of the chairman’s actions. Read more >

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Abuse of Power: ExxonMobil, Chairman Lamar Smith, and the First Amendment

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

Yesterday the New York Times printed a full-page advertisement sponsored by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a free-market think tank that has been funded by ExxonMobil and has regularly misrepresented climate science. The ad reads in large font “Abuse of Power” followed by discussion of free speech rights of companies, nonprofits, and individuals to disagree on climate change. The ad claims that attorneys general in several states and the US Virgin Islands are overstepping their roles in investigating ExxonMobil for possible fraud. Read more >

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Rep. Lamar Smith Versus Science: The Department of Commerce and NOAA Respond

, director, Center for Science & Democracy

The Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration continue to resist attempts by House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith to discredit a scientific study of global surface temperature published by NOAA scientists last June. As a former NOAA scientist and administrator, I have never been so proud of the agency for standing up for its scientists and scientific integrity. Read more >

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Questioning House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith’s Claims of NOAA Misconduct

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

For several months, House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith has been unable to justify his investigation into the work of NOAA climate scientists whose research finds that global warming has not slowed in recent years. Yesterday, in a letter to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Smith offered up an explanation: there are “whistleblowers” working with his office who contend that NOAA rushed the study to publication. Read more >

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What’s the Deal with Rep. Lamar Smith’s Subpoena to NOAA over Climate Science? An FAQ Resource

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

Concern is growing about the broader implications of House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith’s subpoena to NOAA and subsequent actions. Chairman Smith is misleading the public about what he is asking for and how NOAA updated its long-term climate dataset. As a result, some inaccurate headlines and articles have been published. As a result, I thought a post of Frequently Asked Questions on the topic would be timely. Read more >

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The House Science Committee held a hearing this morning to validate its overreaching subpoenas of 9 nonprofit organizations, including the Union of Concerned Scientists. Photo: Gretchen Goldman

House Science Committee Holds Hearing on Its Own Authority: Chairman Smith Circles the Wagons

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

This morning the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing to discuss its legal authority to issue subpoenas its Chairman had already issued.  Yes, you read that correctly. House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith held a hearing this morning to investigate his own investigation. And the hearing was as bizarre as that sounds. Read more >

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Chairman Smith Backs Off on Demands for NOAA Scientists’ Emails – For Now

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith’s investigation into the work of NOAA scientists took a new turn Tuesday when he temporarily limited the scope of his demands for communications related to an important global warming study.

Read more >

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NOAA Pushes Back on Chairman Smith’s Claims on Climate Science Paper

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

On Monday, I wrote a blog post of FAQs on House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith’s subpoena to NOAA scientists over publication of a new climate science paper. Now NOAA speaks out against Rep. Smith’s claims.  Read more >

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House Science Committee Chairman Smith: Please Read the National Climate Assessment

, director, Center for Science & Democracy

The Third National Climate Assessment is out, fully available to the public, and gives the most detailed picture yet of how global warming is affecting the United States. It was an exhausting effort over more than three years by hundreds of scientists. I had the privilege of being one of the authors, and I am proud of the work we did. Read more >

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House Science Chairman Lamar Smith's HONEST Act is anything but an honest act. It hamstrings the EPA from carrying out its mission of protecting public health and the environment. Cartoon by Jesse Springer, Springer Design & Illustration

A Dishonest Proposal: The House Science Committee Resurrects EPA Secret Science Nonsense in the HONEST Act

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

This week, Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Lamar Smith will officially mark up a new (but not really improved) version of his long championed but always nonsensical Secret Science Act. Now rebranded as the Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act (HONEST Act), the bill effectively prevents the EPA from using the weight of scientific evidence to protect public health and the environment. Read more >

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EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Accelerates Politicization of Agency’s Science Advisory Board

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

Earlier today, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt strongly suggested that the agency will not consider any candidate for EPA’s science advisory committees who has received a grant from the agency. Such a gobsmackingly boneheaded move would further hamstring the ability of the EPA to accomplish its public health mission. The administrator is directly challenging the intent of Congress, which established the Science Advisory Board to provide independent scientific advice so that EPA can effectively protect our health and environment. Read more >

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Who Not to Pick for the EPA’s Science Advisory Board

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

In its effort to fill fifteen positions on the Science Advisory Board, the EPA has posted a list of 132 nominees to be a part of the esteemed EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB is a group of over forty scientists, experts in a range of disciplines, who provide peer review and expert advice on EPA issue areas.

While many of the nominees are highly qualified and distinguished in their fields, there are a handful of individuals that are extremely concerning due to their direct financial conflicts, their lack of experience and/or their historical opposition to the work of the EPA in advancing its mission to protect public health and the environment.

Read more >

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Science Advice in Action: Highlights from an EPA Science Advisory Board Meeting

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

We have been writing a lot lately about the importance of federal science advice and defending the value of advisory committees like the EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors and EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) against threats of budget cuts and reform. When I saw that the full SAB would be meeting at the end of August, I jumped at the opportunity to attend. Read more >

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Advisory Committee Shakeup Targets Independent Science and Scientists

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

There is a full-on assault afoot to strip away the independence of science advisory committees at several government agencies. Read more >

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Under the misguided chairmanship of serial climate science denier Lamar Smith (R-TX), the House Science Committee we have is, sadly, not the House Science Committee we need.

The House Science Committee’s Shameful Climate Sideshow

, director of science & policy

The committee held a hearing on Wednesday that presented a tired sideshow of climate deniers going through their well-rehearsed paces—the science hearing equivalent of a World Wrestling Entertainment match. Read more >

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Draw the Line Seattle/Author: Damien Conway/CC by (Flickr)

Youth vs. a Government of, by, and for the Fossil Fuel Industry

, climate accountability campaign manager

Last week, the Trump administration sought to short-circuit a lawsuit filed by young people seeking to hold the U.S. to account on climate change. If you are having trouble distinguishing the Trump administration from major fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil and Chevron, you are not alone. Here are a few recent examples of the convergence between fossil fuel interests and the Trump administration. If you know the tune for “Schoolhouse Rock” version of the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, feel free to hum along as you read. Read more >

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Why the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act Is Bad for Science

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

Congress’ perennial bill, the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act, has again reared its ugly head. The bill seeks to change the requirements for the EPA’s advisory committee to give industry greater influence while adding extra burdens that make it harder for the committee to meet its charge of providing science advice. It would also have the side effect of dissuading scientists from serving on this advisory committee because of future restrictions to obtaining EPA funding. Read more >

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Photo: Ryan J. Reilly

Standing Up to Pernicious New Attacks on Federal Climate Scientists

, director of science & policy

UPDATE (February 10, 2017): A draft version of a manuscript on NOAA’s ERSSTv5 climate dataset has been leaked while it is undergoing peer-review. As submitted, the paper’s findings are consistent with those in Karl et al (2015) on NOAA’s previous dataset (ERSSTv4) and with independent datasets from other research groups. This is a routine update to incorporate modest improvements. There was no global warming “hiatus.”

The time-tested climate denial strategy of attacking the reputations of prominent climate scientists in order to sow doubt about the evidence and risks of climate change is being trotted out again. Read more >

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Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury, “Galileo before the Holy Office” (1847)
Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury, “Galileo before the Holy Office” (1847)

The Inquisition Congress, Abetted by Trump, Has Begun

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

The increasingly reckless House of Representatives, caught up in a public mutiny, may have walked back its abandonment of congressional ethics. But it simultaneously took several other steps that will enable corruption and greatly expand political influence over the work of experts at NASA, NOAA, EPA, and other science agencies, compromising their ability to serve the public interest. Read more >

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Representative Lamar Smith, Chair of the House Science Committee.

The Internet Can’t Get Over the House Science Committee’s Climate-Denying Tweet—and That’s a Good Thing

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

Yesterday the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology tweeted some good ole fashioned climate denial—you know, the old tired long discredited nonsensical claim that cold weather negates the global consensus of scientists that climate change is happening (It doesn’t.).  The scientific community and the news media did not let this go unnoticed and that’s a good thing for our continuing to hold decision makers accountable for respecting science under a Trump administration. Read more >

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My Education in Climate-Denial Jujitsu

Maryam Zaringhalam , UCS

“If we aren’t going to listen to the experts when we craft our bills, I’m really not sure what we’re doing here,” said Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) as I took my seat in the chambers of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology on Thursday, July 7th. I wasn’t surprised to hear her say it. The Republican-dominated Committee has long been hostile to expert opinion—particularly on mainstream climate science—to the frustration of the minority Democrats. Read more >

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Oil derricks

The Heat is on Fossil Fuel Companies for Decades of Climate Deception

, director of science & policy

As I pointed out in a recent blog, my colleagues and I at the Union of Concerned Scientists have been researching and calling attention to climate disinformation by leading fossil fuel companies for nearly a decade. Read more >

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