Then, and Now

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on November 10, 2010

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Then:

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

–Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, January 20, 2009. (Emphasis mine.)

Now:

The Interior Department’s inspector general says the White House edited a drilling safety report in a way that made it falsely appear that scientists and experts supported the idea of the administration’s six-month ban on new drilling.

The inspector general says the editing changes resulted “in the implication that the moratorium recommendation had been peer reviewed.” But it hadn’t been. The scientists were only asked to review new safety measures for offshore drilling.

“There was no intent to mislead the public,” said Kendra Barkoff, a spokeswoman for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who also recommended in the May 27 safety report that a moratorium be placed on deepwater oil and gas exploration. “The decision to impose a temporary moratorium on deepwater drilling was made by the secretary, following consultation with colleagues including the White House.”

The Interior Department, after one of the reviewers complained about the inference, promptly issued an apology to the reviewers during a conference call, with a letter and personal meeting in June.

More here. So much, then, for “restor[ing] science to its rightful place.” Those who wonder why there may be a lot of investigations in the House of Representatives concerning actions of the Obama Administration need only look at this perversion of science, and scientific integrity to discover the answer. Can we start hearing about the “Democratic War on Science” now? Because we really should.

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