Trump team hints at energy department witch-hunt

21 December 2016

According to a report by Bloomberg, advisers to US president-elect Donald Trump are developing plans to reshape Energy Department programmes, help keep older nuclear plants online and identify staff who had any part in promoting president Barack Obama’s climate agenda.
Trump’s transition team has asked the agency to list employees and contractors who attended United Nations climate meetings, along with those who helped develop the Obama administration’s assessments of the social cost of carbon emissions, which was used to estimate and justify the climate benefits of new rules. The advisers are also seeking information on agency loan programmes, research activities and the basis for its statistics, according to a five-page internal document circulated by the Energy Department on Wednesday. The document lays out 65 questions from the Trump transition team, sources within the agency said.
During is campaign, Trump promised to eliminate government waste, rescind "job-killing" regulations and cancel the Paris climate accord under which nearly 200 countries have committed to meeting greenhouse gas emissions targets. Although he did not reveal detailed or specific plans for federal agencies, the document obtained by Bloomberg offers clues on where his administration may be headed on energy policy, clues based on the nature of questions involving the agency’s research agenda, its nuclear programme and the national laboratories.
In response to news of the document, Senator Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, sent a letter to Trump warning that any punishment of agency workers that carried out policies his administration doesn’t agree with “would be tantamount to an illegal modern-day political witch hunt, and would have a profoundly chilling impact on our dedicated federal workforce.”

 



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