Thursday, October 08, 2015

And the truth will get you investigated by Congress

Climate Scientist Faces Backlash for Urging Investigation of Fossil Fuel Companies

Jagadish Shukla will be questioned by a Congressional committee after he and other scientists called for a racketeering probe of deliberate climate denial

By Katherine Bagley, InsideClimate News
Oct 7, 2015

A climate scientist who was the lead signatory on a letter urging President Obama to launch a federal investigation into whether fossil fuel companies "knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change" is now facing an investigation by Congress because of his part in the letter.

Jagadish Shukla, a climate scientist at George Mason University in Virginia, received notice Oct. 1 that the non-profit research organization he runs, the Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES), will soon be investigated by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology for suspected misuse of federal funding.

Republican Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, who chairs the House committee, requested that Shukla and IGES "preserve all e-mail, electronic documents, and data (‘electronic records’) created since January 1, 2009," according to the notice.

The investigation stems from Shukla's involvement in the letter to President Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and White House science advisor John Holdren on Sept. 1. The letter's 20 signees—climate scientists from Columbia University, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the University of Maryland and other institutions—asked the administration to explore whether energy companies could be prosecuted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) of 1970 for purposefully casting doubt on the scientific evidence for climate change. Federal prosecutors used the RICO Act in the 1990s and 2000s to sue tobacco companies for covering up the health impacts of smoking. ScienceInsider first reported Smith's investigation.

(Continued here.)

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