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WP: Inquiry Sought on Agency Memo About Polar Bears, Climate Change [View All]

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-10-07 02:14 AM
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WP: Inquiry Sought on Agency Memo About Polar Bears, Climate Change
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Inquiry Sought on Agency Memo About Polar Bears, Climate Change
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 10, 2007; Page A06

Rep. Bart Gordon is investigating, (AP)

Two senior House Democrats demanded yesterday that Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne turn over documents to Congress in order to determine whether the administration was preventing federal scientists traveling abroad from discussing how global warming affects polar bears.

In a letter to Kempthorne, Bart Gordon (Tenn.), chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology, and Brad Miller (N.C.), chairman of the investigations and oversight subcommittee, questioned why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a directive that has stirred protests from environmentalists.

This "appears to be the latest effort by the Bush Administration to block a full and free discussion of issues relating to climate change by the scientific community," they wrote.

The internal memo was sent to the wildlife agency's Alaska division under the heading "Foreign Travel -- New Requirement -- Please Review and Comply, Importance: High."

The memo, which was reported in other media on Thursday, cautioned employees against speaking about the relationship between climate change and the possible extinction of polar bears without getting official approval in advance. Those discussions became official business in late December when Kempthorne, faced with lawsuits by environmentalists, proposed listing polar bears as a species threatened with extinction....
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