Philip Cooney was chief of staff at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. His sudden resignation
on a Friday evening could be a turning point for official policy on greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. Cooney, a former energy industry lobbyist with no scientific background,
is being fingered as the person who edited scientific reports on global warming to minimize the environmental and economic consequences.
Philip Cooney was never a friend of the environment, despite his leadership position on environmental policy in the White House.
According to the New York Times,
In handwritten notes on drafts of several reports issued in 2002 and 2003, the official, Philip A. Cooney, removed or adjusted descriptions of climate research that government scientists and their supervisors, including some senior Bush administration officials, had already approved. In many cases, the changes appeared in the final reports.
This amounts to criminal malfeasance. Even if he was given the role to establish policy, he has a higher duty to uphold the Constitution and serve the people. He was not abrogating this duty by intentionally distorting official reports and studies.
Before going to the White House in 2001, he was the "climate team leader" and a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute, the largest trade group representing the interests of the oil industry. A lawyer with a bachelor's degree in economics, he has no scientific training.
It should of course come as no surprise that the reports were altered. This has been recognized by the scientific community for several years.
What is a surprise is that special interests should play such a blatant and obvious role in formulating policies on a subject with such monumental consequences.
*The tide is beginning to turn*
Finally we are beginning to see major corporations becoming concerned about global warming. According to a recent report in *USA Today* of all places, [The Debate is Over http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2005-06-12-global-warming-cover_x.htm?POE=NEWISVA]
What they don't yet understand is the magnitude of the task ahead.