NOAA refuses to show congress climate study documents after a request by republican representative Lamar Smith to that effect. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has refused the request to share documents concerning a controversial climate study for reasons of confidentiality.
The study, which was published last year in June, contained temperature records that supported the fact that global warming was rising at a constant pace. This was contrary to the previous findings that suggested global warming had slowed down since the 1990s.
The organization was subpoenaed by representative Smith’s House Committee on Science, Space and Technology to hand over the documents but it cited the integrity of the scientific process and confidentiality as the reasons for refusing to do so.
Smith, who is a climate change critic, stated that he believes it would be inconvenient for the current administration that data should show no rise in global warming for two decades. He also accused the administration of changing the data they recorded in order to obtain the politically correct results that they needed. Smith suggested that, considering these issues, the American public had enough reason to be suspicious and demand access to the private data recorded by the organization.
NOAA spokesman Ciaran Clayton replied in a public statement to these accusations, stating that the internal data which is demanded has to do with internal deliberations, which are confidential, and that it is not relevant to what Smith wants to find out.
The spokesman went on to say that NOAA did provide public information about the study, including public data that can be found online and that supports the research they conducted and published. He then stated his support for the scientists involved in the study and his trust in their objective methodology and work ethic.
The quarrel has continued with Smith finding the confidentiality invoked by NOAA representatives as being baseless and stating that he finds no legal reason for withholding the information his committee requested.
He has made clear his intention to keep pushing for the documents while, in response, both NOAA and the democrats on the respective committee are protesting Smith’s request. Texas representative Eddie Bernice Johnson even accused Smith that his enquiries are nothing more than a “fishing expedition” and that his request for the documents constitutes a serious misuse of Congressional oversight powers.
While Smith promises his committee will use all the tools it has at its disposal to get the documents, things are still at a standstill for now and it is not yet clear what legal action will be taken to resolve the situation.
Image source: www.pixabay.com