Last summer, scientists published a study that challenged the notion that global warming has been slowing down in recent years. Their analysis was based on temperature data that was provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Since that time, Congressman Lamar Smith has asked NOAA for the data and internal communications that were related to the study, but they have refused to hand them over.
On October 13th, Smith filed a subpoena for the documents. The Congressman has long been skeptical of climate change, and has accused NOAA of fabricating temperature data. Smith told The Examiner that “Congress cannot do its job when agencies openly defy Congress and refuse to turn over information…When an agency decides to alter the way it has analyzed historical temperature data for the past few decades, it’s crucial to understand on what basis those decisions were made. This action has broad national and policy implications.”
Despite the subpoena, NOAA still isn’t backing down on the grounds that there is a “long-standing practice in the scientific community to protect the confidentiality of deliberative scientific discussions” and Congressman Eddie Bernice Johnson has backed them up by calling Smith’s subpoena an “illegitimate harassment of our nation’s research scientists.”