During the new Congress so far, we’ve seen multiple investigations related to the (mis)treatment of climate science by the Bush administration. These, I’m sure, will be ongoing. But as I’ve frequently said in public talks, perhaps the most pervasive abuses have occured on local endangered species issues, which have garnered less media coverage.
Now it’s time for the Democratic Congress to start digging around here as well.
A new report from the Interior Department’s inspector general, covered in the Times today, makes that clear. Substitute for Philip Cooney an Interior Department official named Julie MacDonald, and it’s basically the same story as it was with climate change: A political appointee, friendly with industry, overruling the determinations of agency scientists.
This is amusing:
The inspector general also found that Ms. MacDonald had sent internal government documents by e-mail to a lawyer for the Pacific Legal Foundation — a property-rights group that frequently challenges endangered-species decisions.
She twice sent internal Environmental Protection Agency documents — one involving water quality management — to individuals whose e-mail addresses ended in “chevrontexaco.com,” the report said.
Let the investigations begin. Nicky Joe Rahall, who now chairs the Natural Resources Committee in the House, is apparently gonna take the lead….