Cheney’s Office Allegedly Alters CDC Climate Testimony

With all the talk of the ‘Oxfam’ protests at the G8 meeting in Tokyo, it comes as no surprise that Vice President Dick Cheney wants to sweep climate change debate under the rug. In fact, it appears the effort is years in the making.

Vice President Dick Cheney’s office pushed to delete references about the ‘consequences’ of climate change on public health from congressional testimony, a former senior EPA official claimed Tuesday.

Jason K. Burnett, former top level EPA administrator, said that White House was concerned that the testimony last October by the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, might make it tougher to avoid regulation.

Burnett, until last month a senior adviser on climate change at the Environmental Protection Agency, described that Cheney’s office was deeply involved in getting nearly half of the CDC’s original testimony removed. The office of the vice president was seeking deletions to the testimony concerning any references to human health consequences, as a result of of climate change.

Sernator Barbara Boxer maintains that the deletions are the first part of “a master plan” with the goal of “covering up” the real dangers of global warming.

As many as six of 14 total pages of CDC testimony may have been deleted. 

Megan Mitchell, Dick Cheney’s press secretary, dismissed the allegations by Burnett and said, “We don’t comment on internal deliberations.”

Jason Burnett, a lifelong Democrat, resigned last month from the EPA for the second time since 2004, because of the EPA’s position on climate change and other issues. He currently supports Barack Obama for president.

He has registered strong concerns about Cheney’s office fighting to not link climate change directly to public health or damage to the environment.

Burnett wrote that The White House, at Cheney’s urging, “requested that I work with CDC to remove from the testimony any discussion of the human health consequences of climate change.” 

Burnett refused to press CDC on the deletions, because he believes the CDC’s draft testimony was “fundamentally accurate.”

In 2007 The Supreme Court directed the EPA to determine whether carbon dioxide endangers human health and welfare and, if so, begin to regulate it under the Clean Air Act. With this type of obstruction by Cheney and the rest of the Bush administration, that process is not likely to get off the ground until a Democrat is elected. 

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Filed under Congress, Environmental Policy, Global Warming, Law, Politics, Republican Party

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