Senator calls for Climategate investigation

According to this story, Senator James Inhofe (R, OK) is calling for a DOJ investigation into Climategate.

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) today asked the Obama administration to investigate what he called “the greatest scientific scandal of our generation” — the actions of climate scientists revealed by the Climategate files, and the subsequent admissions by the editors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).Senator Inhofe also called for former Vice President Al Gore to be called back to the Senate to testify.

“In [Gore’s] science fiction movie, every assertion has been rebutted,” Inhofe said. He believes Vice President Gore should defend himself and his movie before Congress.

Sounds like a good idea to me – especially when congress is trying to pass a massive Cap & Tax bill. Maybe we should have a little more information on the “settled science” of global warming before we crush our economy with more job-killing regulation and taxes. Inhofe’s motivation is based on a recently released minority staff report.

The staff report describes four major issues revealed by the Climategate files and the subsequent revelations:

  1. The emails suggest some climate scientists were cooperating to obstruct the release of damaging information and counter-evidence.
  2. They suggest scientists were manipulating the data to reach predetermined conclusions.
  3. They show some climate scientists colluding to pressure journal editors not to publish work questioning the “consensus.”
  4. They show that scientists involved in the report were assuming the role of climate activists attempting to influence public opinion while claiming scientific objectivity.

The report notes a number of potential legal issues raised by their Climategate investigation:

  1. It suggests scientific misconduct that may violate the Shelby Amendment — requiring open access to the results of government-funded research — and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) policies on scientific misconduct (which were announced December 12, 2000).
  2. It notes the potential for violations of the Federal False Statements and False Claims Acts, which may have both civil and criminal penalties.
  3. The report also notes the possibility of there having been an obstruction of Congress in congressional proceeds, which may constitute an obstruction of justice.

If proven, these charges could subject the scientists involved to debarment from federally funded research, and even to criminal penalties.

Bring it on!

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