WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A White House official, who previously worked for the American
Petroleum Institute, has repeatedly edited government climate reports in a way that downplays
links between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, The New York Times reported
Philip Cooney, chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, made
changes to descriptions of climate research that had already been approved by government
scientists and their supervisors, the newspaper said, citing internal documents.
The White House declined comment on the report.
The report said the documents were obtained by the newspaper from the Government
Accountability Project, a nonprofit group that provides legal help to government whistleblowers.
The group is representing Rick Piltz, who resigned in March from the office that coordinates
government research and issued the documents that Cooney edited, the Times said.
The newspaper said Cooney made handwritten notes on drafts of several reports issued
in 2002 and 2003, removing or adjusting language on climate research.
White House officials told the newspaper the changes were part of a normal interagency
review of all documents related to global environmental change.
"All comments are reviewed, and some are accepted and some are rejected," Robert Hopkins,
a spokesman for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy told the the newspaper.
In a memo sent last week to top officials dealing with climate change at a dozen agencies,
Piltz charged that "politicization by the White House" was undermining the credibility and
integrity of the science program.
Copyright 2005 Reuters.