A couple of days ago, I linked to news that the Department of the Interior’s Inspector General had concluded that the White House had (deliberately, in my opinion) altered a report by a panel of scientists on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to support the imposition of a moratorium on all drilling in the Gulf of Mexico:
The White House rewrote crucial sections of an Interior Department report to suggest an independent group of scientists and engineers supported a six-month ban on offshore oil drilling, the Interior inspector general says in a new report.
In the wee hours of the morning of May 27, a staff member to White House energy adviser Carol Browner sent two edited versions of the department report’s executive summary back to Interior. The language had been changed to insinuate the seven-member panel of outside experts – who reviewed a draft of various safety recommendations – endorsed the moratorium, according to the IG report obtained by POLITICO.
“The White House edit of the original DOI draft executive summary led to the implication that the moratorium recommendation had been peer-reviewed by the experts,” the IG report states, without judgment on whether the change was an intentional attempt to mislead the public.
Bear in mind that Carol Browner is at least closely affiliated with the Socialist International and has served as a member of their panel on its Commission for a Sustainable World Society. As recently as 2008, she participated in their international Congress. Killing, or at least heavily regulating oil drilling in favor of Green (and Green Statist*) energy programs be high on her agenda, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Browner saw this report as a chance to advance the cause.
Well, those edits may well have cost her boss the Electoral College votes of the Gulf Coast, because, in the wake of this revelation, people there are mad. Really mad:
Gulf State lawmakers are accusing the Obama administration of putting politics above science after a government watchdog said Interior Department officials misled the public by altering a report to suggest that a group of outside scientists supported a blanket ban on deepwater drilling.
The administration maintains that the flap is the result of rushed editing and nothing more. However, members of Congress from the Gulf region, already incensed over what they described as a heavy-handed, one-size-fits-all reaction to the BP oil spill, are crying foul.
“This was not an accident at all. It was a deliberate attempt to use the prestige of the scientists to support their political decision,” said Rep. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, one of several Republicans who this summer requested an investigation into the moratorium by the Interior Department’s inspector general.
Mr. Cassidy, who said the IG’s conclusions will come as “bitter news” to about 12,000 workers who lost their jobs because of the moratorium, noted that the administration ignored later arguments by five of the panel’s seven scientists in favor of targeted inspections over a blanket ban – something he said violated Mr. Obama’s vow to let science, and not politics, guide his policies.
As Jim Geraghty said, all Obama promises come with expiration dates. Obviously, this needs to be added to the list.
Meanwhile, how do you think those 12,000 workers who lost their jobs -or their families, friends, and the people at the businesses they used to buy from- will feel when the Hope and Change roadshow comes calling in 2012, knowing that their livelihoods were sacrificed on Socialism’s green altar?
Yeah. Me, too.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)