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Judge orders White House to release reports

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August 22, 2007

A federal judge ordered the Bush administration to issue two scientific reports on global warming, siding with environmentalists who sued the White House for failing to produce the documents.

U.S. District Court Judge Saundra Armstrong ruled Tuesday that the Bush administration had violated a 1990 law when it failed to meet deadlines for an updated U.S. climate change research plan and impact assessment.

Armstrong set a March 1 deadline for the administration to issue the research plan, which is meant to guide federal research on climate change. Federal law calls for an updated plan every three years, she said. The last one was issued in 2003.

The judge set a May 31 deadline to produce a national assessment containing the most recent scientific data on global warming and its projected effects on the country’s environment, economy and public health. The government is required to complete a national assessment every four years, the judge ruled.

The last one was issued by the Clinton administration in 2000.

The administration had claimed that it had discretion over how and when it produced the reports — an argument the judge rejected Tuesday.

“The defendants are wrong,” Armstrong wrote in the 38-page ruling. “Congress has conferred no discretion upon the defendants as to when they will issue revised Research Plans and National Assessments.”

The plaintiffs — the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace — said the ruling was a rebuke to an administration that has systematically denied and suppressed information on global warming.

“It’s a huge victory holding the administration accountable for its attempts to suppress science,” said Kassie Siegel, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the plaintiffs that filed suit in Oakland federal court in November.

Bush administration officials were still reviewing the ruling Tuesday and could not comment on it directly, said Kristin Scuderi, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy, which was named in the lawsuit.

But the administration is complying with the law, Scuderi said. The U.S. Climate Change Science Program is working on 21 separate reports on global warming’s projected effects on the U.S and has started to prepare a new research plan, she said.

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On the Net:

U.S. Climate Change Science Program: http://www.climatescience.gov/

Center for Biological Diversity: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/

One Response to Judge orders White House to release reports

  1. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    August 22, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    If our country had not given up on energy indpendence, maybe things could be somewhat different now. President Carter made it a hallmark to get the U.S. weaned off foriegn oil, with energy conservation. The Ronnie Raygun Administration of course dropped the ball, and the meat & potato petro-chemical industry reigned over any attempt to implement conservation policies.

    If middle east oil became marginalized due to an advanced energy conservation program, oil could become less valuble a commodity. If countries like Saudi Arabia were not swimming in oil money, terrorists would not be able to fund its activities as well.

    Of course, our nation has never persued a serious policy of energy independence, but imagine if the money put into the occupation of Iraq was put into making our country more energy indpendent with more subsidies for solar, wind power, and other renewable energy resources. tax break incentives to families to retro-fit their homes with insulation & energy saving devices. Also tax breaks and mandatory building codes for green energy efficent buildings & homes.

    It really is painfull to see possibilities like this totally shited off on the Chimps Messianic Delusions of Godhood.