The Department of Energy is declining the incoming Trump administration’s request for a list of staffers who worked on climate changes, adding that the questionnaire that was delivered to the staff triggered some of its members. The Hill reported that questions about professional affiliations made some folks very uneasy:
Energy spokesman Eben Burnhan-Snyder said the agency received “significant feedback” from workers regarding a questionnaire from the transition team that leaked last week.
“Some of the questions asked left many in our workforce unsettled,” Snyder said.
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.
The president-elect has been critical of the theory of global warming, claiming that no one knows if it’s real. Trump recently picked former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to helm the Department of Energy; Perry had campaigned on eliminating the DOE during 2012 election, which makes this appointment ironic, though a signal to employees who had worked on climate change that there’s going to be a new sheriff in town. And if the people want the Keystone pipeline, more natural gas production, and more coal production, then so be it. Frankly, it’s about time.