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Hirono, colleagues challenge USGS policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and 21 of her U.S. Senate colleagues recently sent a letter to Dr. James Reilly, director of the U.S. Geological Survey, to express their concern over recent reports that USGS will only utilize climate models that project the effects of climate change through 2040.

USGS has historically used models that projected the anticipated impact of climate change through the end of the century.

“We are writing to express deep concern over recent reporting that the United States Geological Survey (USGS) will only be utilizing climate models that project the effects of climate change through 2040, rather than the previously accepted practice of using models that project through the end of the century,” the letter states. “This decision appears to be another in a long line of politically motivated moves within the Department of the Interior, and more broadly across this administration, to suppress climate change science.

The Senators called into question USGS’s decision to limit the scope of climate modeling, as USGS data is used as the basis for many important planning decisions made by local, state, and federal governments.

In their letter, the senators warned of the dangers of putting science through political filters, which would hinder the United States’ ability to understand and address environmental and public health threats.

“Hiding this information from the American public not only paralyzes the ability to execute informed decision-making today to reduce future emissions impacts, but would be further compounded by the administration’s intent to leave the ‘worst case scenario’ out of future assessments and their attempt to discredit this scenario in the NCA4,” the letter said.

Hirono has repeatedly called for investigations into the Trump administration’s attempts to suppress scientific data across several federal agencies.

In June, Senator Hirono sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Inspector General Phyllis K. Fong, to request an investigation into potential instances of suppression and alteration of scientific reports, documents, or communications produced by USDA.

In April, Hirono also sent a letter to then-DOI Deputy Inspector General Mary L. Kendall to request she investigate the suppression of a Fish and Wildlife Service biological opinion that was due to be completed and released in December 2017.
Source: The Garden Island

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