CEI Lawsuit Seeks Climate Science Data Disclosure from NASA

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) said it filed a lawsuit (pdf) on May 27 to force NASA to produce records related to last year's "ClimateGate" scandal ─ records the agency has refused to produce for nearly three years.

In its complaint, CEI calls for government transparency about climate science, "particularly now, when debate about climate change and ‘cap and trade’ legislation has captured sustained national attention.”

The lawsuit arises out of three CEI Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, initiated in August 2007 and originally seeking internal documents about NASA improperly boosting U.S. temperature data in this decade. Five months after the first request, CEI sought documents concerning Gavin Schmidt, Ph.D., a taxpayer-funded NASA researcher who, chief among other NASA scientists, spends working hours running and writing for a third-party Website (RealClimate.org).

After CEI submitted this request, timestamps were retroactively removed from Real Climate posts, the organization says. CEI is presenting the court with original Website postings that establish how NASA facilities and staff, at taxpayer expense, are being employed to push a specific policy agenda.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. CEI is represented by Andrew S. Tulumello of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, which is handling the lawsuit pro bono.