March 08, 2010
The 900 pages of emails, obtained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Christopher C. Horner, show staff members from the DoE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the EPA developing a response to the report. They also show them coordinating the response with the Center for American Progress, plus the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) — two wind industry lobbyist groups.
What the emails show runs contrary to statements made to Congress by the Assistant Secretary of Energy Cathy Zoi — the Obama administration response to the Spanish report was in fact instigated at the request of the AWEA. It was then written with the close cooperation of the AWEA, the Center for American Progress, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The emails concentrate on the political implications of the Spanish study — and how to discredit it.
There also appears to have been significant pressure to publish an internal report from the NREL as a DoE report — bypassing the internal review and publication procedures — and to do so quickly.
The emails suggest that wind industry lobbyists and political organizations have significant behind-the-scenes influence on scientific reports from the Obama administration. This contradicts Obama’s insistence that his administration would get the politics out of science. It also calls into question the objectivity and quality of the information they provided to Congress.
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