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February 22nd, 2012
Grijalva Calls for Committee Hearing on Evidence of Potentially Illegal Outside Payments to Interior Department Climate Science Expert

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, the ranking member of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, today called for a full Natural Resources Committee hearing to determine whether a high-ranking Department of the Interior (DOI) official received outside payments from a conservative group that seeks to influence federal policy. In a letter this morning addressed to Reps. Doc Hastings and Ed Markey, the Committee chairman and ranking member, Grijalva urges the Committee to determine whether Indur Goklany, the DOI Assistant Director of Programs, Science and Technology Policy, received money he was promised by the Heartland Institute for writing a chapter in a book focused on climate policy in apparent violation of federal rules, among other issues.

Goklany’s name appears in Heartland’s recently publicized 2012 proposed budget, dated Jan. 15. That document was first posted online by the environmental blog DeSmogBlog and is reviewable at Grijalva’s letter to Hastings and Markey is available at

A Feb. 21 Greenpeace letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on the same issue – which Grijalva cites – quotes DOI ethics standards as expressly forbidding employees to “receive pay for teaching, speaking and writing that relates to [their] official duties.” As Grijalva writes to Hastings and Markey,

We do not know whether Dr. Goklany received the money he was apparently promised by the Heartland Institute. Nor do we know whether other Interior Department employees have been offered, or accepted, similar arrangements with other organizations that seek to influence federal policy. For that matter, we do not know what confidential information Dr. Goklany may have shared with Heartland officials in the course of negotiating his payment agreements. These questions need answers, and our Committee has a unique responsibility to find those answers.

A hearing could be convened as early as next week, when the House is back in session.

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