The Department of Energy is refusing to comply with a request from the Trump Transition team for a list of the staffers who worked on climate change programs.
This kind of arrogant insubordination is relatively unheard of – especially before an administration even begins. One would assume federal employees would be obligated to report to their superiors which projects they were working on.
But Energy Department spokesman Eben Burnhan-Snyder said that they received “significant feedback” from their employees regarding a questionnaire sent out by the Trump team.
Many of the questions deal directly with the agency’s procedural responsibilities, but the questions also delve into the specific identities of employees instrumental in developing climate policy under the Obama Administration. The New York Times obtained the survey from an agency employee.
“Can you provide a list of all Department of Energy employees or contractors who have attended Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Carbon meetings?” reads one of the questions. “Can you provide a list of when those meetings were and any materials distributed at those meetings, emails associated with those meetings, or materials created by Department employees or contractors in anticipation or as a result of those meetings.”
“Some of the questions asked left many in our workforce unsettled,” Snyder said.
The list has led to fears that the Trump Administration would be undertaking a “purge” of workers who align with the progressive climate-change agenda.
“We are going to respect the professional and scientific integrity and independence of our employees at our labs and across our department,” Burnham-Snyder said in the Tuesday statement, first reported by The Washington Post.
“We will be forthcoming with all publicly-available information with the transition team. We will not be providing any individual names to the transition team.”
Isn’t that cute? A little bureaucratic pushback from the Energy Lefties. I’m pretty sure – no, I’m certain that they’ll be more forthcoming when a President Trump makes the same request.
The head of the union for workers at the Energy Department’s Washington headquarters had also expressed concern with the questionnaire, The Hill reports.
“My members are upset and have questions about what this means. These are all civil servants who do their jobs,” Tony Reardon, national president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said in a statement.
“They have no wish to be caught up in political winds — they are nonpartisan employees — scientists, engineers, statisticians, economists and financial experts — who were hired for their knowledge and they bring their talent and experience to the job every day,” he said, adding that the union “will do all it can to ensure that merit system rules are followed.”
There are laws on the books protecting civil service workers from being fired or punished for political purposes – even if an administration changes. But there’s no reason Trump can’t find another reason to “clean house.”
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