Energy & Environment

Obama’s “Science Summit?”

The Obama Administration is planning to hold a "meeting of scientists" to discuss what to do following the BP oil spill, but they don’t have answers yet to questions being raised about the summit.

At a White House press briefing on Monday, I asked Adm. Thad Allen who would determine the scientists who are going to be invited to the summit.

“It’s being worked by an interagency team. We’re soliciting input right now, just haven’t finalized it yet. We’re moving very quickly, though, to have it on the 3rd of June,” said Allen, who is delaying his retirement as commandant of the Coast Guard to deal with BP. Later, Allen dubbed the meeting the “science summit” and added that it would be held at Louisiana State University.

Following a series of questionable practices by scientists involved in global warming research, any political gathering of scientists is bound to raise questions, such as: Who are these scientists that will be at this summit?  Will there be more “gloom-and-doom” prophecies along the line of the furor over global warming? And, of course, what new government programs will emerge from the planned session?

I asked energy czar Carol Browner and Allen if they agreed with complaints from the scientific community that it’s been a problem operating with the administration’s 10-year-old environmental charts in dealing with the oil spill and their argument that the government should spend an estimated $11 million for updates. 
 
“I’d almost have to defer to [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration head] Jane Lubchenco,” replied Allen, “ I’ve been involved in conference calls and press calls where she has raised the issue that resources in the past have constrained their ability to do that mapping.  And I think she considers that a priority.” 
 
Browner then stepped in and said: "She said the same thing, and certainly, it’s something we’re going to look at.  We’re working with Congress to craft legislation right now.  It may be appropriate in that. We also — there will be a meeting of scientists — it’s now I think scheduled for June 3rd.”  
 
Browner continued: “In Louisiana, bringing together scientists both from the government and outside the government to understand what questions we need to be asking as we go forward, and what resources we need to make sure are available."


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