Schatz Asks Silenced State Department Analyst To Testify Before Senate Democrats' Climate Committee

June 18, 2019
Reports Revealed Senior Intelligence Analyst’s Written Testimony on Climate Science Was Blocked By White House

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Chair of the Senate Democrats' Special Committee on the Climate Crisis, has invited Dr. Rod Schoonover, a senior intelligence analyst at the State Department, to testify before the Senate Democrats' Special Committee on the Climate Crisis. The invitation follows reports that revealed that Dr. Schoonover’s written testimony to the House Intelligence Committee was suppressed by the White House because it included climate science.

“While your oral testimony provided compelling information regarding the impacts we are all facing, we are concerned by reports that your complete written testimony was suppressed by the White House, preventing your views from being fully expressed,” Chairman Schatz wrote in his letter to Dr. Schoonover. “The Senate Democrats' Special Committee on the Climate Crisis is willing to provide you the opportunity to thoroughly discuss, either publicly or privately, the numerous ways climate change is currently affecting U.S. national security interests around the world and how to plan for future impacts.”

The full text of the letter is available here and below:
 
Dear Dr. Schoonover,
 
I am writing to invite you to testify in front of the Senate Democrats' Special Committee on the Climate Crisis.
 
Our committee is aware of your previous invitation to testify before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and your inability to submit written testimony for the committee. While your oral testimony provided compelling information regarding the impacts we are all facing, we are concerned by reports that your complete written testimony was suppressed by the White House, preventing your views from being fully expressed.
 
The Senate Democrats' Special Committee on the Climate Crisis is willing to provide you the opportunity to thoroughly discuss, either publicly or privately, the numerous ways climate change is currently affecting U.S. national security interests around the world and how to plan for future impacts. Just today, a group of scientists from Stanford published a paper concluding that climate change will play a far greater role in destabilizing countries as the planet warms.  And this is only the most recent in a string of reports from the IPCC, to the National Climate Assessment, to the fifty-eight senior military and national security leaders that recently affirmed that climate change is a threat to U.S. national security.
 
We need to understand the increasing risks from climate change, like food shortages, disease outbreaks, and population migrations, if we are to implement appropriate risk mitigation strategies—like we do for all other national security threats.  We appreciate your work on these issues, and will gladly provide the venue to highlight the actions needed to avoid and plan for the worst impacts.
 
Sincerely,
 
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