The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released documents showing "hundreds of instances" where a former and current oil industry lobbyist had edited government reports to downplay the impact of human activities on global warming trends. Committee chair Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said the documents suggested "a systematic White House effort to minimize the significance of climate change." The edits were by Philip A. Cooney, the former chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Cooney, who has no scientific credentials, worked for the American Petroleum Institute prior to the Bush administration position and is now working for Exxon Mobil. Cooney said that his edits were meant to reflect the "most authoritative and current views of the state of scientific knowledge." NASA climate expert Dr. James Hansen warned at the House hearing, "If public affairs offices are left under the control of political appointees, it seems to me that inherently they become offices of propaganda."
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