Texas

Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

“Why Would We Include Things We Don’t Agree With? That’s Ridiculous.”

Dave Einsel/Getty Images

That’s a direct quote from Andy Saenz, spokesman for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). He’s referring to an article on rising sea levels by Rice University Professor John Anderson that was supposed to be part of a larger report on the Galveston Bay, “State of the Bay 2010,” by the TCEQ.

So what was wrong with the article in question, according to the TCEQ? You can read it right here, with notable deletions by the commission of phrases such as “due mainly to direct human intervention” and “impacts of global climate change:”

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/257152-chapter-5-rewrite-final-9-20-11.html

So the TCEQ didn’t like these references to human impact and climate change. Anderson, the Rice Professor, didn’t appreciate their efforts to delete them, so he leaked the article to reporters. This led to the TCEQ removing the article entirely:

Commission spokesman Andy Saenz said Anderson prematurely revealed the draft report to the media without prior approval, and that the commission did not want to include controversial implications about global warming in the report.

Two co-editors of the project, Jim Lester and Lisa Gonzalez, scientists with the Houston Advanced Research Center, a nonprofit research facility contracted for the report, asked the agency to remove their names, fearing their own credibility.

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