Matt Rourke/AP
Vice President Dick Cheney

Cheney Encouraged Deletions in Climate Change Testimony

July 10, 2008 11:32 AM
by Lindsey Chapman
A former EPA official maintains that Vice President Dick Cheney’s office pushed for major deletions in congressional testimony about the health effects of climate change.

30-Second Summary

By diluting testimony about the public health consequences of climate change, Cheney’s office may have been trying to make it harder to regulate greenhouse gases, according to a former Environmental Protection Agency official.

Presently, the EPA is investigating whether carbon dioxide threatens human health. If the agency finds the answer is yes, the gas must be regulated under the Clean Air Act.
Six pages of congressional testimony on climate change and public health by the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were deleted in October 2007.

The White House said the deletions were made for accuracy reasons. Jason K. Burnett, the senior adviser on climate change to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, said Cheney’s office worked hard to remove the information, however.

His office also objected to Johnson’s January 2008 testimony that “greenhouse gas emissions harm the environment,” according to ABC News.

Scientists claim climate change could result in further air pollution and faster spread of diseases like malaria and dengue fever.
There is also talk that global warming could increase security concerns.

“We now know that this censorship was part of a master plan” to weaken the Supreme Court ruling about greenhouse gases, said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Boxer said Burnett will testify before the committee in the future.

Headline Links: Stifling climate change information?

Background: Effects of climate change; control measures

Opinion & Analysis: Fear of global warming

Related Topics: Global warming and security concerns

Reference: Clean Air Act


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