...and mislead policymakers and the public about the dangers of global warming."
So concludes a statement by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform about its report [PDF] released yesterday on the findings of a 16-month investigation into allegations of political interference with government climate change science. According to the statement:
In 1998, the American Petroleum Institute developed an internal "Communications Action Plan" that stated: "Victory will be achieved when ... average citizens 'understand' uncertainties in climate science ... [and] recognition of uncertainties becomes part of the 'conventional wisdom.'" The Bush Administration has acted as if the oil industry's communications plan were its mission statement. White House officials and political appointees in the agencies censored congressional testimony on the causes and impacts of global warming, controlled media access to government climate scientists, and edited federal scientific reports to inject unwarranted uncertainty into discussions of climate change and to minimize the threat to the environment and the economy.
The Bush administration had help with its efforts to mislead policymakers and the public from outfits like the John Locke Foundation of North Carolina. As we recently reported, the fossil-fuel-funded think tank is currently trying to scuttle state-level efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions by exaggerating the uncertainty around the reality and seriousness of climate change, and by emphasizing the costs of addressing the problem while ignoring the costs of doing nothing.