Saturday, December 10, 2016

Trump Transition Probe of Energy Dept. Involves the UC-Related Labs

You may have noticed headlines and news reports of a probe by the Trump transition team into Energy Dept. employees who have been involved in climate change research. Below is an excerpt from the Washington Post:*

Donald Trump’s transition team has issued a list of 74 questions for the Energy Department, asking agency officials to identify which employees and contractors have worked on forging an international climate pact as well as domestic efforts to cut the nation’s carbon output.
The questionnaire requests a list of those individuals who have taken part in international climate talks over the past five years and “which programs within DOE are essential to meeting the goals of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.”...
The questionnaire also appeared to take aim at the national laboratories, which operate with a high degree of independence but are part of the Energy Department. The questionnaire asked for a list of the top 20 salaried employees of the labs, the labs’ peer-reviewed publications over the past three years, a list of their professional society memberships, affiliations, and the websites they maintain or contribute to “during work hours.” Researchers at national labs focus on a range of issues, including renewable-energy development and climate analysis...
These developments raise an important question since, as the image above illustrates, UC is involved in management of the labs, a connection that has a history in the World War II Manhattan Project. What plans do the Regents and UCOP have to protect lab employees from retaliation? There will be a Regents meeting in January. Is this item on the agenda? 

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