Bush science adviser denies policy agenda - Marburger calls litmus test notion 'preposterous'
By Siobhan McDonough - The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - President Bush's top science adviser rebutted an advocacy group's accusations that the administration's policy on global warming, air quality, forest management and other matters of science are driven by a conservative agenda.
John H. Marburger III, saying his own record as a Democrat in a Republican administration prove the critics wrong, declared in a statement Friday: "In this administration, science strongly informs policy."
Marburger, director of the White House office of science and technology policy, criticized a Feb. 18 document by the Union of Concerned Scientists that claims the administration misrepresented facts to benefit a conservative political agenda.
"The accusations in the document are inaccurate," he said, adding that there were methodological flaws that undermine the group's own conclusions.
Marburger rejected the accusation of a litmus test that must be met before someone can serve on an advisory panel, calling it "preposterous."
"After all, President Bush sought me out to be his science adviser -- the highest ranking S&T official in the federal government -- and I am a lifelong Democrat."
He denied the group's accusation that the administration refuses to accept the reality of global warming. He noted that Bush said in a June 11, 2001 Rose Garden speech that the "(c)oncentration of greenhouse gases, especially CO2, have increased substantially since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution."
"And the National Academy of Sciences indicate that the increase is due in large part to human activity ... While scientific uncertainties remain, we can now begin to address the factors that contribute to climate change."
Marburger also rebutted the group's claim that the administration doesn't invite the Environmental Protection Agency into the discussion on climate change issues.
"The EPA, in fact, is a key participant in the development and implementation of climate change policy in the Bush administration."
Marburger also fired back at the group's claims that the administration is attempting to weaken the Endangered Species Act. He said the problems the group referred to pre-date the Bush administration.
Well, well, well Mr. Marburger, spoken like a true Republican..."the problems the group referred to pre-date the Bush administration"!