Institute Sues President Clinton Over Junk Science

Institute Sues President Clinton Over Junk Science

October 05, 2000

Washington, DC, October 5, 2000 – The Competitive Enterprise Institute announced today that it has filed a lawsuit against President William J. Clinton. Joining CEI as co-plaintiffs are Representatives Joseph Knollenberg (R-MI) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Consumer Alert, 60 Plus Association, and David Wojick. The parties seek the federal court in Washington, D.C., to declare a $14 million compilation of global warming scare stories as unlawfully produced in violation of three federal laws.

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The document in question is the National Assessment Synthesis Report, or “National Assessment on Climate Change.” Requested by Congress no later than 1994, the requested Assessment was required to detail the state of the science and the uncertainties surrounding the theory of man-made global warming.


“In President Clinton’s capacity as the chairman of the National Science and Technology Council, he is ultimately responsible for producing and maintaining the legal integrity of any documents or reports it releases,” commented Christopher C. Horner, the attorney for CEI who filed the complaint. The lawsuit also names Neal Lane, as Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, as co-defendant.


The lawsuit alleges and details the following violations:


·     Multiple Violations of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA); specifically, holding unlawfully closed meetings and conducting meetings in the absence of the required Designated Federal Officer.

·     Violations of the US Global Change Research Act (USGCRA); including a wrongful directive from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy that the Council unlawfully expand its work outside the scope of its applicable statutory authority, and delve into non-scientific, political areas.

·     Violation of Public Law 106-74. This law prohibited the expenditure of appropriated money in order to release or publish this report prior to completing the underlying science, making the Council’s findings available to all parties and subjecting its work to peer review.


Despite repeated private and congressional requests to comply with these requirements, the Council has aggressively refused, due to a calculation that releasing the Assessment in October will have maximum political value.


As a remedy, Plaintiffs request the court declare the following actions unlawful under FACA, USGCRA, and Public Law 106-74:

·     Utilizing any product of any Synthesis Team meeting attended by either FACA violation;

·     Utilizing any draft or final National Assessment until such time as these violations are remedied;

·     Dedicating further expense or effort on the basis of such Assessment until these violations are remedied;

·     Releasing any document that addresses those issues not specifically authorized by the GCRA of 1990.


For more information, please contact Emily McGee, director of media relations, at 202-331-1010.


Click here to read a PDF version of the lawsuit, with attachments

Click here for Sen. Inhofe's press release and statement about the lawsuit

Click here to read Rep. Knollenberg's statement about the lawsuit

Click here to read Rep. Emerson's statement about the lawsuit

Read James Glassman's piece about the National Assessment

Read Myron Ebell's op-ed about the National Assessment in Intellectual Amunition