July 9, 2008

Whitehouse Statement on Allegations that Cheney Interfered with Global Warming Testimony by CDC Official

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, issued a statement today on the recent allegations by a former high-level Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official that the office of Vice President Cheney may have pressured Julie L. Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to remove specific sections from her congressional testimony in order to downplay the health affects of global warming. These allegations were contained in a letter to EPW Chairman Boxer from Jason Burnett, formerly the EPA’s Deputy Associate Administrator, who was responsible for helping coordinate the Administration’s response to the global warming issue.

“Mr. Burnett’s allegation is deeply disturbing and seems to be yet another example of a troubling and destructive force at work within EPA and this Administration, one with serious consequences for our environment and our public health. Politics should never trump science when public health is at stake. EPA Administrator Johnson has the opportunity to prevent such political interference and to protect the public health by issuing a strong regulation on greenhouse gas emissions and by assisting the EPW Committee in gauging the level of political meddling on environmental policy. He must exercise leadership, and if he does not, he is not fit to lead EPA.”

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