Congress Wants To Know Why A Gov’t Report Relied On Research Funded By Democrats’ Largest Donor

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Michael Bastasch Contributor
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A congressional committee chairman is demanding the Government Accountability Office (GAO) answer for publishing a recent report that relied heavily on non-peer-reviewed research funded by the single largest Democratic donor.

“[GAO’s] heavy reliance on this study raises concerns considering that it is a non-peer reviewed document that has not received the same scrutiny as many other scientific documents used in similar reports,” Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican, wrote in a letter sent to GAO on Tuesday.

GAO released in late October a major report on the future impacts of global warming. The report relied heavily on a study funded in part by the Risky Business Project that was backed by a foundation founded by former hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer.

Steyer contributed more than $91 million to Democrats and liberals in the 2016 election cycle, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation report highlighting GAO’s reliance on Steyer-funded work.

The Risky Business Project is also funded by organizations founded by former New York city Mayor Mike Bloomberg, an Independent, and Hank Paulson, Treasury Secretary to former President George W. Bush.

Paulson, a Republican, supports a carbon tax. Bloomberg has changed his party identification multiple times, but most recently from Republican to Independent in 2007.

Bloomberg donated more than $23 million to Democrats and liberals in the 2016 election, according to election data. He recently pumped another $64 million into a Sierra Club anti-coal campaign.

Not only was the study funded by pro-climate policy interests, it also wasn’t peer-reviewed, according to Smith, who chairs the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

“These individuals have a history of funding one-sided advocacy campaigns as well as political elections that align with their agenda,” Smith wrote to GAO. “Their funding of this study blurs the line between science and advocacy and taints the conclusions of the GAO study.”

“Given that the report utilizes questionable sources and appears to ignore a wealth of peer-reviewed scientific studies, the Committee [on Science, Space and Technology] has concerns about the integrity of the GAO study process as well as its impartiality,” wrote Smith.

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