The office of the vice president reportedly pressured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to delete six of fourteen pages of testimony given last October by CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding.
According to a three-page letter from recently resigned EPA official Jason Burnett in response to an inquiry by Senator Barbara Boxer, the vice president’s office was “deeply involved” in getting the testimony removed.
Burnett’s letter said, in part:
The Council on Environmental Quality and the office of the vice president were seeking deletions to the CDC testimony (concerning) … any discussions of the human health consequences of climate change,” Burnett has told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.”
Until last month Burnett was the EPA deputy associate administrator and senior advisor on climate change, resigning in frustration over apparent White House influence over the EPA’s handling of the 2007 Supreme Court ruling that carbon emissions must be regulated under the Clean Air Act.
Burnett also revealed in his letter to Boxer that Cheney objected to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson’s testimony last January before Congress that “greenhouse gas emissions harm the environment”.
Burnett states that an official from Cheney’s office
…called to tell me that his office wanted the language changed”
and any references deleted referring to climate change harming the environment. Burnett refused and the phrase was left in Johnson’s testimony.
Burnett contends the motivation behind all this executive meddling and coercion is an attempt to avoid complying with the law requiring regulation of greenhouse gases to effectively deal with climate change.
As Burnett said last month in announcing his retirement:
The next administration will have to face what this one did not.”