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The Obama administration just responded to Trump’s demands to hand over the names of climate scientists

In a surprising act of rebellion, the U.S. Department of Energy is refusing President-elect Trump’s request to turn over the names of climate researchers.

It was reported late last week that the Trump transition team submitted a lengthy questionnaire to agency officials asking dozens of routine questions, but with one worrying question that asked about the Department of Energy’s (DoE) meetings about climate change, and for officials to turn over all names of meeting attendants along with any and all documents produced as a result of those meetings.

Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) issued a statement in response to the questionnaire that read, “This request suggests that your administration may intend to retaliate against career employees who faithfully executed their responsibilities.”

On Tuesday morning, however, a DoE spokesman announced that the agency would not be complying with the request included in the questionnaire.

“We are going to respect the professional and scientific integrity and independence of our employees at our labs and across our department,” said DoE spokesman Eben Burnham-Snyder. “We will be forthcoming with all publicly-available information with the transition team. We will not be providing any individual names to the transition team.”

In addition to Burnham-Snyder’s statement, the president of the union representing DoE workers blasted the Trump transition team for requesting names of climate researchers.

“My members are upset and have questions about what this means. These are all civil servants who do their jobs,” said National Treasury Employees Union president Tony Reardon.

“They have no wish to be caught up in political winds — they are nonpartisan employees — scientists, engineers, statisticians, economists and financial experts — who were hired for their knowledge and they bring their talent and experience to the job every day,” Reardon continued.

On Tuesday morning, President-elect Trump announced former Texas Governor Rick Perry as his pick for Secretary of the Department of Energy. Perry famously forgot the name of the Department of Energy in a 2011 Republican presidential debate, when attempting to name three government agencies he would abolish as president. When called out by the moderators for not remembering the name of the Department of Energy, Perry simply responded with, “Oops.”


Tom Cahill is a writer for US Uncut based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at [email protected], or friend him on Facebook

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