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Bush nixed media on global warming

White House denied interview requests

The White House routinely denied media requests for interviews on global warming with any government scientists who did not completely support President Bush’s views on the controversial issue, a new House report has charged.

“Political Interference With Climate Change Science Under the Bush Administration,” compiled by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, was released Monday morning at about the same time that news orgs were reporting on former vice president Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. Gore won the prize for his work on environmental issues, particularly global warming, the focus of his Oscar-winning doc “An Inconvenient Truth.”

“By controlling which government scientists could respond to media inquiries, the White House and agency political appointees suppressed dissemination of scientific views that could conflict with administration policies,” the report alleged.

Report ultimately accused the administration of acting as if it had adopted as its “mission statement” the American Petroleum Institute’s PR campaign to create public doubt about climate change science.

A veteran public affairs officer at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration told Oversight Committee investigators that any media requests for interviews on global warming had to be approved by the White House. The officer said it was the only topic that required such approval.

The White House approved only requests with scientists known to support administration policy on global warming, and approvals were usually accompanied by cautions on how the issue was to be discussed, the report said.

The White House also wanted interviews monitored by public affairs officers, who would later report on what had been discussed.

The report said NOAA officials felt the White House dictates on media interviews were inappropriate.

The White House press office did not answer an email seeking response or comment.

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