Politics

Energy Department rejects Trump’s request to identify staffers who worked on climate change

This Tuesday, the Department of Energy rejected the request of Donald Trump‘s transition team to hand over the names of staffers who worked to fight climate change.

According to Energy Department spokesman Eben Burnhan-Snyder, “significant feedback” from staffers regarding a questionnaire prompted the response.

“Some of the questions asked left many in our workforce unsettled,” Snyder said.

From The Hill:

The survey for department leadership included more than 70 questions regarding what the agency does, its workforce, costs, professional affiliations and more.

But it also asked for a list of employees who worked on various climate change priorities in President Obama’s administration, including the Paris climate agreement and the social cost of carbon, an accounting measure for the costs of climate change.

That led to fears that Trump’s administration was undertaking a “witch hunt” to single out those workers.

“We are going to respect the professional and scientific integrity and independence of our employees at our labs and across our department,” Burnham-Snyder said.

“We will be forthcoming with all publicly-available information with the transition team. We will not be providing any individual names to the transition team.”

President of the National Treasury Employees Union Tony Reardon was also disturbed by the questionnaire.

“[Department of Energy staffers] have no wish to be caught up in political winds — they are nonpartisan employees — scientists, engineers, statisticians, economists and financial experts — who were hired for their knowledge and they bring their talent and experience to the job every day,” he said, adding that the union “will do all it can to ensure that merit system rules are followed.”

According to the law, it’s illegal to fire civil service workers for political reasons.

Featured image: Gage Skidmore

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