Energy Department Refuses President-Elect Trump Request for Information

US Department of Energy

US Department of Energy

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to Scientific American, The US Department of Energy has refused a request from President-elect Trump’s Energy Department Transition Team for information about what their people do on their work time.

Energy Department Refuses Trump’s Request for Names on Climate Change

Trump’s transition team asked for the names of people who have worked on climate change and the professional society memberships of lab workers.

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Energy Department said on Tuesday it will not comply with a request from President-elect Donald Trump’s Energy Department transition team for the names of people who have worked on climate change and the professional society memberships of lab workers.

The response from the Energy Department could signal a rocky transition for the president-elect’s energy team and potential friction between the new leadership and the staffers who remain in place.

The memo sent to the Energy Department on Tuesday and reviewed by Reuters last week contains 74 questions including a request for a list of all department employees and contractors who attended the annual global climate talks hosted by the United Nations within the last five years.

Energy Department spokesman Eben Burnham-Snyder said Tuesday the department will not comply.

“Our career workforce, including our contractors and employees at our labs, comprise the backbone of (the Energy Department) and the important work our department does to benefit the American people,” Burnham-Snyder said.

“We are going to respect the professional and scientific integrity and independence of our employees at our labs and across our department,” he added. “We will be forthcoming with all publicly available information with the transition team. We will not be providing any individual names to the transition team.”

He added that the request “left many in our workforce unsettled.”

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In my opinion this outrageous response is the very epitome of a government department which is out of control. Refusing to provide information to the new administration about what staff do with their work time, to me suggests the US Department of Energy believes they are a law unto themselves – they think they are above politicians and political cycles, and intend to continue wasting money on climate programmes, regardless of what the new Trump administration wants.

I say defund the lot of them. The few important roles they perform, such as overseeing the handling of nuclear material and nuclear waste, can be transferred to other departments.

424 thoughts on “Energy Department Refuses President-Elect Trump Request for Information

  1. Yep, this isn’t going to go down too well with the Trump team. Watch the axe fall soon after inauguration, as it should.
    Who the hell do these people think they are? When the incoming President asks for information your only response is Sir Yes Sir!

    • January 21st.
      Pink slips to the entire department.
      As for the necessary jobs like mentioned above: Make them train their replacements in other departments.

      • Agreed. The entire department. They produce no energy, just hassle those that do*.
        *Which describes 500 federal agencies.

      • Ronald Reagan fired the air traffic controllers. Across the country every last one of them lost their jobs and were legally banned from ever working for the federal government. For those of us alive at the time it was an amazing step. Something everyone believed was impossible. From that point onward no one doubted anything Reagan said..
        Look for something similar early in the Trump presidency.

      • Reagan was only able to fire the air traffic controllers because they were in violation of their contracts, which contained a no strike clause.

      • You do not seem to know much about the DOE. Google “W88” that is what the DoE does. The DOE has nothing to do with oil drilling, coal inning, etc. that would be the Dept of Interior.
        [Please follow site policy and use only ONE user-ID, login-ID, and email address. .mod]

      • Pink slips…and replace them with immigrant workers on visas. There will be a hole in the matrix.

      • “LOL — that cannot happen — per lots of legislation. But keep thinking that.”
        I dunno… this is a public records request coming from the HIGHEST requesting authority. Failure to turn over those documents is essentially a federal crime. Firing people for a crime I would think is entirely within his rights.

      • A request is a phish….
        They have just put up a giant neon sign: “Dig Here First!” and bring dynamite and steam shovels…
        Evety OTHER department owes them a big debt for placing the target directly on themselves…
        Idiots. The correct approach is to say yes, then take 4 years to do it… (assuming they want to block effective action).

      • @ E. M. Smith
        Tell me which Senator or Congressman will vote to cut jobs in his state?
        The only people affected will be the SES appointees. Those appointed by the POTUS — which are quite few.
        Good luck trying to fire or demote any of the rest

      • karl, despite what they may think,they are public servants. everything they do should be available to the public that pay their salaries.

    • Are these bureaucratic units ever audited by the government that created them? They appear to be creating autonomous empires within the system. I can’t imagine any of the academic departments where I was employed refusing the Governor’s request for info., what give these folks the audacity?

      • A belief in entitlement, Pop.
        They honestly do not see a connection between their paycheck and their obligation to provide honest services to their employer.
        I think ego is the basis of such delusion. In reality, it is not all about you.

      • On further reflection, Pop, I have a story for you:
        As a manger, I was giving a talk to a group of union employees about the details we were trying to do for our customers. Most of them really cared about doing our best, because they lived among and were actually customers themselves.
        One of the guys shouted out “I work for the union, not you.”
        I asked him, “What if I didn’t sign your check?”
        Most everybody got it. Not him, unfortunately. He remained a surly, dirty and slovenly man.
        Later, I found myself in a position where I could have summarily fired him under the union contract, considering prior disciplinary actions. With the help of my Ops Manger, we found a solution to “suspend” his termination, pending some draconian requirements.
        The man almost starved to death over the next 12 mounts of his suspension in Alaska. He came back clean, sober and a great man. Everybody was happy to have him back. We were all brothers, helping those who fell.
        Sadly, in the Federal government system we can’t do that. Reduction In Force (RIF) is the best we can do. We CAN spend some money to get the laid off people other jobs. It is ONLY MONEY.

      • They had a good example, and they simply followed the strategy of their boss for the last eight years. I imagine the more zealous DOE climate crusaders feel nothing but pride for the immense executive over reach they were key players in. It’s going to be tough to accept that the game is over.
        Time to clean house.

      • More on the idea that it is ONLY MONEY!
        Seriously, given the billions of dollars we are throwing around daily, what is a few bucks?
        PEOPLE are more important than MONEY. Read that again: PEOPLE are more important than MONEY.
        That doesn’t mean you throw away money. Wasting money hurts people. Spending money intelligently to help people is smart.
        Do government bureaucrats, in the aggregate, spend money intelligently?
        Do individuals, in the aggregate, spend money intelligently?
        My conclusion? Let many PEOPLE spend lots of MONEY intelligently to help PEOPLE. That means projects, jobs, family, whatnot. Otherwise, let government bureaucrats spend your MONEY.

      • What makes them bold is that they are Dems and Dems are slaves to the party in return for early pensions and endless unearned bonuses. That’s how Dems keep getting voted back in, with endless bribes, endless holidays, 8 week vacations after one year’s service, it’s maddening.

      • Sorry Charlie, I have to disagree. Why should I want someone to take my money to help me? I can take care of myself. And if I want to help others, that should be my choice, not yours or anybody elses. Forcing me to help others does not make me virtuous, but it does make you a bully and a thief.
        That said, I do believe that people who can afford to, should help others less fortunate. Especially those close to them. But “should” is not “must” and that’s where I draw the line.

    • These folks at the DOE concoct “stories” (lies) about the climate so their refusal to transition properly to a new management team is not surprising at all.
      They’re so brash they’ll probably sue for cruel and unusual termination when they’re issued pink slips, too!
      (That will be fun to watch.)

      • It is your political opinion that these are lies…
        Their evidence is in line with scientists working in universities and govt departments worldwide, including (for example) in China.
        How come all these people are telling the same ‘lies’?
        Sacking them without investigation as to the accuracy of their research, reports and figures would be a cover up, surely?

      • “It is your political opinion that these are lies…”
        No Grifter.
        It is our considered opinion based primarily on the science of climate and observations of the conduct of certain “scientists” – for example Mann and his “Hockey Team” – that they are lies.
        The conduct of the catastrophists such as yourself with your mendacity and obvious paid-for advocacy merely reinforces those opinions.

      • Maybe the Trumpster is setting up Perry . . . like he did Romney. Make Perry head of DoE, then eliminate DoE!
        Mr. Trump, make Jeb Bush head of Dept of Agriculture (which grows nothing, just hassles those who do), then eliminate DoA. 🙂

      • On the other hand:
        ‘Former Texas Gov. Perry picked to head dept. he once sought to abolish’
        Maybe Trump is granting Perry his wish.

      • Their evidence is in line with scientists working in universities and govt departments worldwide, including (for example) in China.
        How come all these people are telling the same ‘lies’?

        Because telling the truth would leave them without jobs or with severely reduced income.

    • I can’t imagine what will happen when he sends that list to NASA. He can fire all of them outright, I don’t even think he needs congressional approval.

      • As a Brit what Trump is about to do to the EPA is a Godsend to us. We are now paying an extra 325 GBP every year in every household for green energy & this is going to almost double by 2020. If Trump destroys the IPCC & all those expensive organisations such as NASA GISS maybe our purblind politicians will take notice. That’s why we are cheering him on. Your domestic arrangements are yours to deal with but we are hoping for a global impact. PLEASE.

    • It has always piqued me that the Department originated to reduce USA dependence on foreign energy has totally failed in it’s mission. I want my money back!

      • A history moment: The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was established in 1946 to supervise the continuation of the Manhattan Project. In 1974, it was superseded by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which included the regulation of commercial nuclear power, and the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA). In 1977, the present DoE was established to consolidate these and other agencies in response to the 1973 oil crisis.

      • An additional difference is that the AEC had a mandate to promote nuclear power. Today’s NRC does not have that mandate. They can continue to regulate until the industry is strangled.

      • At Michael J. Dunn, A neat summary of organizational history. How does that compare with permitting?

        •The last construction permit for a nuclear power plant was issued in 1978 for Progress Energy Inc.’s Shearon Harris plant, near Raleigh, North Carolina. — Source:

    • Was the Department of Energy one of the three departments that Rick Perry one time stated that he wanted to dissolve? He could not remember the name at first, which made it memorable. Now he is the Head of the DoE. They should be scared.

    • 1. What does the Department of Energy have to do with Climate?
      2. Wasn’t it the DOE that funded the Mann hockey stick studies?
      3. Isn’t CAGW and Climate about STOPPING energy?
      4. Shouldn’t DOE be about PRODUCING energy?
      5. It sounds like DOE is funding studies OPPOSING its own mandate.

      • The DOE builds and maintains the US nuclear weapons mostly. So you are saying trump will fire nuclear weapons engineers? The DOE has nothing to do with regulation of carbon, oil drilling , coal mining. It’s a science and engineering.

        • “So you are saying trump will fire nuclear weapons engineers?”
          I don’t think anyone’s said that they’re going to nuclear weapons engineers, Sam.
          You seem to something of a lurid imagination!

        • SamJ
          Nope. You are wrong. (Or reading from a democrat’s fake news briefing sheet. )
          The DOE spends part of its budget on nuclear energy security – But NOT very much.
          And NONE of the huge budget increases they are requesting the next fiscal year – ALL of which go to secure IRAN’S nuclear weapon program and increase the energy bills here at home due to wasteful and exaggerated “new” energy programs, and more and more energy department bureaucrats.
          Following is copied from THEIR own web site, not your false and exaggerated claims.

          Overall, the FY 2017 budget request for DOE represents a 10 percent increase above the FY 2016 enacted level, reflecting the importance of DOE’s work enabling the transition to a low-carbon secure energy future, and leading America’s research for discovery and innovation. It also continues important work to protect public health and safety through the Department’s commitment to cleaning up past nuclear weapons production while also maintaining a safe, secure, and effective nuclear weapons stockpile and advancing the President’s commitment to controlling and eliminating nuclear materials worldwide.
          As part of the United States’ commitment to Mission Innovation, the U.S. government will seek to double the $6.4 billion that Congress provided in FY 2016 for clean energy R&D to $12.8 billion in FY 2021. The FY 2017 budget makes good on this commitment by proposing $7.7 billion in discretionary funding for clean energy R&D across 12 agencies, an increase of about 20 percent. DOE’s proposed FY 2017 clean energy R&D budget of $5.85 billion represents 76 percent of Mission Innovation investments.
          The budget also proposes the creation of the ARPA-E Trust, which creates the needed funding stream to allow ARPA-E to expand its scope to address larger scale, more complex energy challenges than can be currently supported under its already successful program. The proposed trust would provide $150 million in FY 2017 and a total of $1.85 billion over five years to ARPA-E, increasing ARPA-E’s total budget by 70 percent from $291 million to $500 million.
          To complement a national R&D effort, the budget also proposes new “Regional Clean Energy Innovation Partnerships,” creating up to 10 centers that will engage universities, industries, investors, labs and others to work toward technology-neutral clean energy breakthroughs that support regional needs.
          The budget request also includes $12.9 billion for the nuclear security program managed by the National Nuclear Security Administration, $357 million over the 2016 enacted level, that will support implementation and monitoring of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran to prevent that country from building a nuclear weapon, along with DOE’s core activities of maintaining a safe and secure nuclear deterrent and preventing the proliferation of nuclear material.
          Other highlights of the FY 2017 budget include:
          $6.1 billion for Environmental Management to address the obligation to clean up the nuclear legacy of the Cold War, including $271 million to maintain critical progress toward returning the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to normal operations, with the goal of restarting limited operations in 2016.
          $5.67 billion for Science to continue to lead basic research in the physical sciences and develop and operate cutting-edge scientific user facilities while strengthening the connection between advances in fundamental science and technology innovation.
          $2.89 billion, an increase of 40 percent, for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to continue a diverse suite of sustained investment in development of renewable generation technologies, sustainable transportation technologies, and manufacturing technologies; and in efforts to enhance energy efficiency in our homes, buildings and industries.
          $1.3 billion for 21st Century Clean Transportation to expand investment in transportation technologies of the future, establish regional fueling infrastructure to support the deployment of low-carbon fuels, and accelerate the transition to a cleaner vehicle fleet.
          $994 million for Nuclear Energy to support vital ongoing R&D in advanced reactor technology as part of a low-carbon future.
          $600 million for DOE’s Fossil Energy program to advance carbon capture and storage and natural gas technologies, and $257 million for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to increase the system’s durability and reliability and begin addressing the backlog of deferred maintenance.
          $262 million for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability grid modernization activities to support a smart, resilient electric grid for the 21st century and fund critical emergency response and grid security capabilities.
          $8.4 million for the Office of Technology Transitions to help get technologies out of National Laboratories and to the market.

    • Step one) Fire the administrator who refuses to follow the orders of his boss. (The president)
      Step two) Fire the assistants who refuse to follow the orders of his boss.
      Later, rinse, repeat until one of two things happen. You find someone who will follow orders. There is nobody left.
      Either is acceptable.

      • None of that has occurred. The President Elect — has no authority currently. He is not anyone’s boss.
        Aside from political appointees (the Senior Executive Service) — it is almost impossible to fire a federal employee.
        In fact, there is a whole lot of legislation that protects federal employees from just the kind of retaliation you propose.

      • It is not nearly impossible to fire Federal employees.
        Appointees are supposed to submit their resignations. The incoming President is under no obligation to accept resignations from productive employees.
        All SES employees are managerial staff and subject to the same hire/fire privileges and obligations are most businesses managerial staff. Every Federal Executive Service (SES – Senior Executive Service) employee can be fired without notice. Many of the SES can beg off getting canned long enough to retire from Federal Service.
        Civil Service Employees do have some protections. That doesn’t prevent them from getting fired, or easier done, having their positions eliminated leaving them without a job.
        I stated before that I had a boss who didn’t mind firing people, even if it was technically illegal. A few years of fighting in court and they’re ready to cooperate or allowed early retirement.
        Before he became my boss, he brought an entire data center of over 1,000 employees into line, (yes, Federal Civil Service).
        All it takes is incentive. The boss gets his incentive from his superior, who usually makes it clear whose position is short lived if results are not achieved quickly. That was my boss’s incentive going into the data center as the third boss that year (as I remember).
        He fired summarily anyone who refused to follow orders. That woke up a lot of people. Most of those who were fired for refusing to perform their duties were canned forever.
        Everyone was reassigned. Those that preferred or were accustomed to working days, got night shift. Those that like working nights, got day shifts or afternoon shift.
        Employees that thought they had a right to be upset or angry got fired. Many of these won the right to return to work, but most took their court ordered award and left.
        Every employee’s work was scrutinized and a lot of positions were eliminated if their work wasn’t considered essential.
        Oddly, most employees still employed worked hard, very hard.
        This boss had a simple motto.
        A) He assumes everyone is intelligent enough and trained enough to work hard and be productive.
        This boss called that managing style, “Management by Whim”.
        B) When the boss is not continually surprised by the quality and over achievement of his employees work he begins to resort to identifying specific objectives, duties and deliverables every employee must show for their work. Starting with a daily list for each direct report on what they are expected to achieve, every day for every employee.
        The boss called this “Management by Objective”.
        C) When management by objective fails; the boss has no choice but to resort to the final management style.
        The boss called this fall back management style, “Management by Terror”.
        At the data center, he discarded both of the first to management styles by the end of the first day. On his way home, he stopped in an automobile parts store and bought a lead headed handle, that us amateur car mechanics know as a persuader or a lead hammer.
        When some employee was whining about their work, work load, co-worker, non-work problems, supervision, whatever, in the midst of the sob story this boss would go into a frenzy and beat up a trash can or desk with his lead persuader, then leave. The employee’s supervisor would get a message about requiring a solution to the ‘problem’.
        Few employees need second demonstrations to get their acts in order. People learned not to stop and chat, call friends on the phone, stand at copiers, leave early, clock in after their scheduled time… Lots of little time wasters.
        If a job really needed more than one person, the workload got shifted. People who were underworked suddenly started searching for “more work”, before their positions got cut.
        Any job or business can be straightened out. Any non-performing or reluctant employee can be fired. All it takes is workers who document employee failings properly. It may take a year or more, but it is doable.
        Even n the Federal Civil Service.

      • @ATheoK
        It seems there were a lot of people that didn’t know how to work the system, because the 13s, 14s, and 15s I know would have fed that Boss his lunch in a week.
        All it takes is several complaints substantiated by multiple employees — and unless a Tier 2 or Tier 3 SES is covering and providing juice — guys like your Boss get censured and reassigned.
        “Excuse me sir, I am not refusing to follow your direction, however, I am exercising my right to confirm that your order is actually legal with HR, my union representative, and possibly the OIG.” Via email.

    • Nigelf,
      Although I am sympathetic re: the request for information, I am not sure the incoming administration has any right in law to expect compliance. Everything changes on January 20, 2017.

    • “””””….. The response from the Energy Department could signal a rocky transition for the president-elect’s energy team and potential friction between the new leadership and the staffers who remain in place……”””””
      Well there won’t be any friction if no staffers remain in place.
      I seem to recall, that Pres. Ronald Reagan fired all of the Air Traffic Controllers.

      • It was a shot across the bows to see what further “persuasion” would be needed to obtain a change of course. Those questions were not assembled by one person. The XO ordered the gunners to fire. The Captain stood aloof & is now in discussion with his XO about “crossing the T” for a broadside.

    • After all, they are paid by taxpayers and we have a right to know what they have been up to at our expense.
      Heads roll after 1/20.

    • Trump could fairly easily re-organize many of the departments he controls. As much as Nixon put them together, someone can rip them apart and re-make them.
      I keep hearing people say it’s impossible to fire government employees, no, it’s very simple. You get rid of their job completely.

    • What does the law say about this? In my country, see
      which says Ministers “should not be involved in their departments’ day-to-day operations.” I suspect that the identities and professional society memberships of low-level workers would be very much outside the scope of what a Minister is allowed to “be involved in”, even the Prime Minister himself. I wouldn’t be surprised if the USA had similar rules, in which case, while I agree that it is reasonable for the Trump team to *want* this information, and any businessman would expect it to be delivered promptly, it *may* be that the rules of the political system say that they can’t have it. In fact the request would be regarded as an egregious breach of the rules here, and the DOE’s refusal as a courageous act of principle. Because of what the rules are.
      Perhaps someone who understands the US system could explain?

      • I’ll speak from my 30 years of knowledge and experience as a manager. People’s personal lives are off limits to an employer unless it affects their work on the job. An employer, be it private or government, is well within their rights to know everything an employee is doing while at work. Everything. If an employee uses their employer relation for anything it must be with the approval of the employer.

  2. I suppose we would need to define what they mean by “independence.” They are part of the executive branch.

    • Exactly, Phil. Are they employees or are they independent? One thing Trump has lots of is the skill to find out where something stinks and how to get rid of it before it endangers a project. You are either a valuable part of the team or independently watching progress from outside the fence. The Trump team may be slowed by this tactic, but I would bet that the brainchild of it will be the first to gain “independence”.

      • They are parts of the gang of problem makers planted by the party to throw monkey wrenches into everything Trump intends to do. There are thousands of them, maybe tens of thousands–who knows? Obama is the most poisonous bastard ever to be in the White House, and he and his weasels are going to do all the damage they can between now and 2020; you never saw a more bitter bunch than Obama, Hillary, Pelosi and that witch of a man, Schittface Schumer.

      • You can live with Zombies, just always have a baseball bat with a big spike in it for when Zombies come calling. There is no living with Union Workers, they will eat us all alive eventually. Have you seen Detroit, the whole city is being devoured by Unions and Inner City Vandals, neither of which can be stopped.

      • All union contracts have procedures for eliminating problem employees. It is spineless bosses that don’t follow procedures that fosters entrenchment zombies.
        Every request must be in writing complete with timeline and followup procedures and violations written up the same.
        With large construction projects in major cities, Trump is well aware of how the union contracts work. Bureaucratic always-in-government managers never feel enough incentive to follow through and go along to get along.

      • “They are protected by government unions.”
        Federal employee unions were illegal till JFK signed an executive order permitting them.
        President Trump can negate that EO with the stroke of a pen in 30 seconds.
        Unions should be very careful.

      • @ EW3
        Sorry — you are incorrect. The right to form unions for federal employees is protected by STATUTE
        The 1978 The Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute
        The Statute: § 7102. Employees’ rights
        Each employee shall have the right to form, join, or assist any labor organization, or to refrain from any such activity, freely and without fear of penalty or reprisal, and each employee shall be protected in the exercise of such right. Except as otherwise provided under this chapter, such right includes the right–
        (1) to act for a labor organization in the capacity of a representative and the right, in that capacity, to present the views of the labor organization to heads of agencies and other officials of the executive branch of the Government, the Congress, or other appropriate authorities, and
        (2) to engage in collective bargaining with respect to conditions of employment through representatives chosen by employees under this chapter.

      • Yeah, Congress need to dump this crap:

        Section 7101. Findings and purpose
        “(a) The Congress finds that–,
        “(1) experience in both private and public employment indicates that the statutory
        protection of the right of employees to organize, bargain collectively, and participate
        through labor organizations of their own choosing in decisions which affect them–,
        “(A) safeguards the public interest,
        “(B) contributes to the effective conduct of public business, and
        “(C) facilitates and encourages the amicable settlements of disputes between
        employees and their employers involving conditions of employment; and
        “(2) the public interest demands the highest standards of employee performance and
        the continued development and implementation of modern and progressive work
        practices to facilitate and improve employee performance and the efficient
        accomplishment of the operations of the Government.
        Therefore, labor organizations and collective bargaining in the civil service are in the
        public interest.

        No better time than January 2017 to do so.

      • @CRoader
        You do realize that military service members are covered by the law? Why do you want to take the right to be in a union from our servicemen and servicewomen?
        Are you anti-military/

      • @ CRoader
        Furthermore, it would be an UNCONSTITUTIONAL suppression of free-speech to prevent federal employees from being able to join a union.
        There is no compelling interest to deny the right to associate.

      • Karl, do you realize that you are wrong?

        10 U.S. Code § 976 – Membership in military unions, organizing of military unions, and recognition of military unions prohibited:
        (b) It shall be unlawful for a member of the armed forces, knowing of the activities or objectives of a particular military labor organization—
        (1) to join or maintain membership in such organization; or
        (2) to attempt to enroll any other member of the armed forces as a member of such organization.

        Why are you anti-American?

        • “Why are you anti-American?”
          I think he’s a Billary supporter suffering from Trump derangement syndrome.
          It takes some of ’em like that.

      • @Karl:

        Furthermore, it would be an UNCONSTITUTIONAL suppression of free-speech to prevent federal employees from being able to join a union.
        There is no compelling interest to deny the right to associate.

        Wow. Your use of all caps completely changed my mind.
        Just kidding. Employees have no right of free speech in the workplace. And they can associate all they want, they just shouldn’t be able to collectively bargain. The federal government should have no obligation to recognize any federal employee organization.
        See, Karl, unions are perfectly fine in competitive environments. That way if a union gets too greedy and/or management gets too stupid, the unionized company in question can go bankrupt with little impact on the majority of citizens. Government entities, however, are monopolies. Greedy unions and greedy politicians have every incentive to fork out lots of taxpayer $$$ because, hey, everybody wins, right? Except for taxpayers who end up holding the bag. See Bankrupt Cities, Municipalities List and Map for the end result of any government employee union.
        Ban federal employee collective bargaining.

      • @ capitalist — so wrong lol
        It says they cant join “military labor organizations” — which are defined as
        “(2) The term “military labor organization” means any organization that engages in or attempts to engage in—
        (A) negotiating or bargaining with any civilian officer or employee, or with any member of the armed forces, on behalf of members of the armed forces, concerning the terms or conditions of military service of such members in the armed forces;
        (B) representing individual members of the armed forces before any civilian officer or employee, or any member of the armed forces, in connection with any grievance or complaint of any such member arising out of the terms or conditions of military service of such member in the armed forces; or
        (C) striking, picketing, marching, demonstrating, or any other similar form of concerted action which is directed against the Government of the United States and which is intended to induce any civilian officer or employee, or any member of the armed forces, to—
        (i) negotiate or bargain with any person concerning the terms or conditions of military service of any member of the armed forces,
        (ii) recognize any organization as a representative of individual members of the armed forces in connection with complaints and grievances of such members arising out of the terms or conditions of military service of such members in the armed forces, or
        (iii) make any change with respect to the terms or conditions of military service of individual members of the armed forces. ”
        They can join any union they want that does not violate the above section; for instance a Union that lobbies Congress for changes to the laws regarding soldiers.
        Members of Congress do not fall under the definition of “civilian officer or employee”

    • You’re right, cB. They can say that the present Energy Secretary forbade them from providing names, which may very well be true. They’d be required to follow his directive.
      Therefore they’re not being defiant, in a formal sense. They’re just following required protocol.
      The top of the hierarchy at Energy will be replaced anyway, following January 20. So, as you observe, they’ve nothing to lose by their actions, and everything to gain in virtue points with the desired audience.

      • Replaced by former Texas Governor Rick Perry.
        Perry famously ran for President with a policy position of disbanding the Energy Department!
        He had a momentary brain lapse and could not remember the name of the department, which tanked his campaign.
        Under his leadership, we will hopefully all be able to forget all about the department when it is no more.

      • I don’t see how they can get a directive not to provide names. Isn’t that a government job? Isn’t it supposed to be public information? When did us paying for them get to be something they can keep from us? Unless it is top secret.

      • “Top Secret”
        BINGO Shelly. And what if this top secret billet is preventing the public from getting the information we need to make proper judgements about our present government? There seems to be a magic lining around them and protecting them from prosecution. DOE, DOD, EPA, and the rest of those ,,,’s should be in fear of losing their job, pensions, and no telling what else. Popcorn in the microwave already…

      • @ Shelly
        It seems that the request for individual employees by name and membership could be a violation of the Privacy Act. Even IF it came from Trump after the Inauguration.
        Employee consent is required to release personally identifying information within or without Agencies of the Federal Govt, with 12 exceptions.
        It’s not routine (the WH does not routinely review what meetings individual employees attend) — so that exception to employee consent is out
        It’s not in response to a criminal investigation — which would come from DOJ — and go to DOJ, not to the WH – so that exception is out
        and the other 10 don’t apply

      • I wonder if they have the legal right to refuse legitimate transition team requests of a duly elected president.
        It certainly gives Trump & his Energy secretary-designate Rick Perry reason to massively reduce funding.

      • I’m actually unhappy with the Rick Perry choice. He never struck me as a bright bulb.
        Apparently he has a BS degree in “Animal Science,” previously known as Animal Husbandry. He later trained as pilot in the Air Force, flying C-130’s.
        I don’t recall anything special in his stint as governor of Texas,either. Any Texans here can correct my impression. But he doesn’t really seem to have any creds for that position.

        • A common theme of the Democrats is to portray most of their opponents as stupid. Rick Perry did serve three terms as Governor of Texas, and the state did fairly well relative to the rest of the country. I have heard Perry on talk radio, and he generally did rather well in that format (admmitedly friendly). Much of the impression of Perry came from the 2012 primaries, when as it turned out, Perry was on rather heavy pain meds for a back injury.

      • Seems they’d want to curry favor with the new administration, but they’re so steeped in stupidity they can’t see past their paychecks.

      • Pat,
        If Trump’s goal is to dismantle the climate hustle, Perry is a good choice.
        If your goal is to maintain and modernize nuclear weapon stockpile, Perry’s a poor choice.
        I can see where this headed.

      • Well, flying C-130s isn’t all that simple. He probably has some amount of skill. “Animal Husbandry” is sort of humorous, but all it means is he’s probably the son of a cattle rancher.

      • @javert
        Well — POTUS isn’t actually elected until Dec 19th — all that voting is for show — the Electoral College does the actual electing.
        Only 5 or 6 states invalidate an EC vote that is unfaithful to the party winning the State vote, the rest have NO CONTROL over how the electors actually vote.
        Furthermore, while highly unlikely — the Electors can vote for ANYONE, they don’t even have had to be on a ballot.

  3. Drain the swamp.
    Eben Burnham-Synder is the Director for the Office of Public Affairs. Eben leads communication of DOE’s policies, innovations, and breakthroughs to Americans and the news media to help keep the public better informed and involved in the energy and security issues of our time.
    Before joining DOE, Eben spent nearly a decade working in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, including work on legislation to increase the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks, reduce carbon emissions, and expand the use of clean energy like wind, solar, and carbon capture technologies. He is a Boston native, a Wisconsin Badger, and a gym rat.
    Eben, you’re fired!

    • Given the tone of his communication, I assume he believes he has a safe landing back at the Congressional staff he came from. Do Dems have enough positions for him?
      One should avoid irritating the new boss.
      Clueless twits be, though. Evidence Brandon, Jim D, Willard, etc.

  4. Going to be pretty hard to write pay-checks if the department doesn’t supply the incoming administration with the names that would go on those checks. And, shouldn’t the names of individual employees and what they do be publicly available considering they are ‘public servants’ (paid by taxes)?

      • The contracting officer and his representative will know who is working on each contract and what they are tasked to do. Contract deliverables (reports, and other technical data) will provide the results of the work. Every government contract can be cancelled at the convenience of the government.

      • Contractors are easy to fire, they don’t have civil service protections. I wonder if a FOIA request for the travel vouchers over the last four years would perk things up a little bit.

  5. Yep, eliminate all their stupid redundancy, that will be about 50%
    Then eliminate all the lying, thats another 25%
    Just cut their budget 75% and I bet they are more responsive next request.

  6. What’s the word I am looking for? Hmmmm. When someone is attacked over being a skeptic on AGW (say a university professor), WUWT readers are up in arms. When Trump asks for a list of AGW believers, presumably to take punitive action, you’re all for it. Oh yeah – hypocrites, that’s the word.

    • It would seem reasonable, that if some personnel are working on issues (such as CAGW) that the incoming administration doesn’t want to fund, that they ask how many people are involved with these issues, so they have an idea of how many personnel can be assigned immediately to other tasks. These are scientists, after all, and they work on whatever they are told to work on. There is no such thing as independent research in the DOE complex. It is all funded with a cost-code at some point. If some of the cost-codes are going away, wouldn’t it be nice to have a plan for what to do with these scientists?

      • Where is your evidence that the President gets to decide every single area of research? Are you going to tell me that Trump can tell the NIH to stop working on diabetes research? You realize he is not a King, correct?

      • @Chris
        There is supposed to be a constitutional framework consisting of three equal, but separate, branches of government. These people work for the executive branch. What undemocratic alternative are you proposing?

      • Chris: You are the one who made the claim that such an exercise of power is ultra vires. Given that this type of action has become SOP in Washington, D.C., YOU have the burden of proof to show that POTUS does not have such power. If Obama can constitutionally tell NASA that one of its main objectives will be to boost “Muslim self-esteem,” then Trump can determine the research focus of an executive agency. You can’t have it both ways. Further, even though this and many of Obama’s orders were ultra vires/unconstitutional orders it does not make Trump’s getting the DOE back on the observation-based science track also uv/un-const.
        Prove Trump cannot do what Janice the AE said.
        Prove Obama was wrong to do what he did (and there are many other such examples of Obama determining agency objectives).
        Just prove SOMETHING. As it is, you have proven nothing. And doing that for you is not Janice the AE’s job.

      • Some of the things they do are set by statute, as written by Congress. Others are determined at the discretion of the Secretary, presumably within guidelines established by law. The 74 questions were quite clear and asking which were by statute (only Congress can change) and which were discretionary (the president, the secretary and his deputies can change)

      • “Are you going to tell me that Trump can tell the NIH to stop working on diabetes research? You realize he is not a King, correct?”
        You realize that 90% of Federal government jobs are unconstitutional, correct? There’s nothing in the Constitution that allows the government to have a Department Of Energy.
        Trump needs to cut about $1,000,000,000,000 off of Federal spending to have any chance of avoiding bankruptcy. Eliminating those 90% of jobs would be a good start.

      • Chirs, he’s the head of the executive branch, of which DOE is a part. Which means he does get to decide what they work on.

      • @ Mark G
        To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
        — Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution

      • @ all
        No, a POTUS cannot tell the NIH to stop working on diabetes research. Even if he issued an Executive Order, it would be UNLAWFUL — as all funding for the NIH is statutorily directed through legislation. Any TYPE or KIND of research that is identified as allowable or specifically identified for execution becomes approved once the POTUS signs the budget.
        POTUS CANNOT veto by line item — it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL per SCOTUS.

      • Janice, if you know how the federal government works, then you will know that bills defining budgets and allocations of budgets for programs are contained in funding bills. The President does not get to (for example) say he/she wants to eliminate research for diabetes at NIH. It doesn’t work that way.
        And Janice, you haven’t proven anything, you’ve made statements. Big difference.

    • Key word: presumably.
      Also, there is a YUUGE difference between government employees attacking professors or those in the private sector, and the head of the Executive branch asking for names of employees in the Executive branch. So no, that’s not the word.

    • Chris: Re: presumably to take punitive action
      Being fired or being refused publication or suffering in other ways because you have serious doubts about AGW conjecture is
      simply being asked what you have done in your job and professional life.
      You are confusing:
      1. “Attack”
      2. “Ask.’
      Yes, they both begin with the letter “a.” That is about all they have in common.
      Your presumption is mere speculation. You are prejudging. In other words, you appear to be prejudiced against Trump and or science realists, thus, you wrote the illogical paragraph you did.
      If Trump wants to have an energy department working TOGETHER toward goals based on science facts, he needs to fire those whose career has been spent fighting against those goals.
      This is simply common sense. An organization needs to work as a TEAM.

      • Janice, the same thing could be said about every other topic or area of research in the federal government. What kinds of drugs are researchers at NIH working on? What kind of diseases? What kind of projects are the Army Corp of Engineers working on? It’s ludicrous to assert that this is a normal information gathering exercise, when this is not being done in other departments.

      • @chris
        Please give us a break. There has been two decades or more of stonewalling on data, on adjusting data without disclosing the adjustments, of claims of “non-partisanship,” of wanting to prosecute those who may disagree on the science, on preventing papers from being published, on starving skeptical and published scientists of funding, etc. It’s time that they are put in the position of actually supporting their science. If the science is sound, that would not be a threat. That they have decided to stonewall is very eloquent.

      • Exactly, Janice. They were just asked a simple question with no hint of retribution or punishment. On the other hand, the libs have continuously been preaching that skeptics should be jailed and even killed.
        “When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming we should have war crimes trials for these bastards (skeptics) — some sort of climate Nuremberg.” -David Roberts, Grist Magazine

      • Chris: re: the same thing could be said about every other topic or area of research in the federal government.
        So what?
        That Trump can’t clean up every swamp simultaneously means he ought not clean up the DOE swamp?
        Logic, Chris!
        Try using it.

      • Chris,
        How do you know it won’t be done in other departments? How do you know it isn’t already being done? DOE employees were so “unsettled” THEY took the story to the press. Why would people who have done nothing to worry about do such a thing?
        I hope the new president DOES go through every single department with a fine toothed comb and eliminates all the waste, redundancy, and bureaucracy he finds. Flying to expensive and futile climate conferences all over the world=a HUGE carbon footprint….not to mention a taxpayer pain in the arse…how sad that such heros of “science” must be sheltered from all inspection. Maybe they need some coloring books and some cocoa along with a safe place to hold out until the big, bad man goes away.

      • “…the same thing could be said about every other topic or area of research in the federal government. What kinds of drugs are researchers at NIH working on? What kind of diseases? What kind of projects are the Army Corp of Engineers working on?”
        One obvious difference is that pharmaceutical research, and investigating diseases, and Army Corp engineering projects are not based on lies and supported only by political propaganda.
        Another difference is that many of these legitimate fields of inquiry are being starved of funds to feed to CAGW propaganda army.
        If Trump is serious about his campaign promise to cut spending and get rid of waste, he can start by doing exactly what many have said they will do but none have done…actually dissolve an entire bureaucracy.
        His hiring of Perry to lead the department indicates he will likely to what none have done before.
        Firings and layoffs, and transfer essential functions to other departments.
        If you are a government research scientist in the field of climate science, you should be looking for your next job.

      • It seems to me that the DOE alarmists and fine wine and dine party goers are worried the new administration will do exactly the same things to them they have been doing to the climate realist community.
        They need not fear. The incoming group are not nearly as corrupt and venal as the CAGW crowd.

      • If I can call a spade a spade, I do see the list of questions as a shakedown of the DOE and hard to defend as ambiguous but my response is > Suck It Up. If the new administration asked similar questions of how many NASA scientist are currently looking for life on Mars, department budgets, etc. as they wished to reallocate these resources to other, in their view, more important departments, that is their prerogative. Of course many of these scientist and general public would get upset.
        What is funny about all the bemoaning by the DOE/EPA using ‘their’ words, the SCIENCE IS SETTLED. Why is more research needed, the chickens have come home to roost. You’ll always have winners and losers, don’t cry into your Starbucks coffee. Renewable’s are commercially viable, they will prevail in the end (according to the experts). Don’t get worried.
        And just think how good the “wall” will be as a Flood Barrier in 50 years, climate mitigation defense at its best. I really hope Fake News did not make you believe this is to stop illegal immigrants (lol). Also if Russia ever invades Mexico, while setting up an email hacking network, it will stop them too.

      • “One obvious difference is that pharmaceutical research, and investigating diseases, and Army Corp engineering projects are not based on lies and supported only by political propaganda.”
        I wouldn’t be surprised….if half or more of them were. In times of peace and plenty, no one actually really cares how much taxpayer money gets channelled into make work projects for cronies.
        I worked on defence projects years ago. At least 75% of the money was thrown down the drain. To be honest that was about as good as we could get it, given the state of technical ignorance of governments and the military.
        Today its probably nearer 90%.
        As a rough guide assume 9 out of every 10 tax dollars are wasted, and begin there….

      • Phil, the science is sound. That’s why the Fortune 1000 believes it and is taking action on it. I love how skeptics here on WUWT focus their comments on scientists only. Ignoring the fact that the world’s top companies, the insurance industry, the oil and gas companies – all believe that AGW is real and that action needs to take place. And it’s not just “liberal” companies like Apple and Google, it’s Walmart, BP, Anheuser Busch, etc.

      • @Chris (11:54 PM)
        Please don’t confuse business with science. When the environmentalists prohibited incandescent bulbs, the price of a bulb increased between 5 and 10 times. The businesses selling bulbs loved it. If businesses can figure out how to profit from something, then they will be all for it. Your logic is political and without regard to the scientific method. One of the companies that stood to profit the most from CAGW was Enron, after all. ‘Nuff said. The anti-watermelon argument is a logical fallacy. This is not a choice between market economics and science. This is a choice about public policy based on sound logical scientific reasoning, without recourse to hoaxes like the hockey stick, gimmicks like turning off the air conditioning before a hearing and trying to use criminal laws (RICO) to try to stifle dissent.

      • Janice, you amaze me. It is beyond remarkable how WUWT has enlightened you. I remember when you were naïve and first posted here. Remember me talking about my pet spider.
        Thanks for being you, my finest compliment.
        Your eternal friend, stan.

      • to Chris:
        Your comment, “this is not being done in other departments”, is missing a word. It should say “this is not being done in other departments, yet”. You seem to think that anything done by government is done for reasonable and logical reasons. That is incorrect. Everything done by government is for political reasons. For instance, the research into HIV/AIDS. It has produced results that “look promising”. It has done that for a good 30 years. Same with fusion reactors, producing results that “look promising”. It is not logical to continue research, throwing money away, for results that continue to “look promising”, and “we’ll probably have a breakthrough in the next five years”. It’s time to cut to the chase, and make the decision to quit funding projects that will never give the results that certain political entities want.

      • Stan!
        🙂 Thank you!
        Yes, I remember Schmidt. How (shudder) is she? And the little birds on the rail (much lovelier to contemplate)? Are they still giving you joy, and vice versa? And it was so much fun to talk about Libby, too… . Is she okay? (I ask in a very quiet voice…)
        “Naive.” Well. If you say so, lol. To me, I’m just the same ol’ Janice, a 10-year-old in a very good disguise who has done a lot of reading.
        You are STILL one of “the giants” — your mind is sharp and you are obviously well-educated, but, it is your great heart that makes you stand so tall. Glad you are here.
        Your friend,
        Also, thank you to George — much appreciated! 🙂

      • Companies respond to the political environment. Nothing new there. Neither is it proof that AGW is real and something to be worried about.

      • “That Trump can’t clean up every swamp simultaneously means he ought not clean up the DOE swamp?”
        Haha, Trump played his supporters, and they (apparently) are still being played. Trump has “drained the swamp in DC” by appointing all insiders or major donors so far. So much for draining the swamp.

    • Chris,
      Nice try. But no dice. Trump did not ask for a list of “AGW believers”. His transition team had a long list of requests, and one of them was a list of conference attendees…the word “believers” is not in play, so logical fallacy. And we have no idea for what reason, punitive or otherwise. If you view a new boss asking for a detailed list of employees, what they do, where they go, what they are working on, and what associations they belong to that are sponsored by the company dime “an attack”, then surely you spend a great deal of time defending every single corporate employee from such outrageous (punitive) behavior every time a company changes hands!
      hint….If you’re not out there doing that, you’re a hypocrite.

      • Mark T December 13, 2016 at 8:13 pm
        “and he ultimately approves their funding (or lack thereof).”
        Mark, ah no. The president can veto funding and congress can over ride the veto.
        Since it is a republican congress I don’t think Mr Trump will have any trouble defunding unneeded departments.
        This is going to be fun to watch.

      • Nice try, Aphan. He did this in one department, so your statement is false that this is a general, business as usual request.

      • Chris:
        Have you actually read the questions? Aphan is completely correct, there is nothing in any of these questions asking in any way, shape, or form about any scientists’ beliefs.
        There are a couple of questions about who participated in what governmental activities (on the taxpayers’ dime). These are completely valid questions.
        The government scientists I have worked with over the years (in less politicized labs) have always been prepared to showon a moment’s notice presentations of their work. Some even keep an easel in their office with posters at hand. I teased one about this, and he told me that since taxpayers were paying his salary, he was obligated to be able to justify his work.

      • I have no reason to suspect anything other than that their new boss wants to send them all a Christmas card. No-one in their right mind would deny the new Secretary the right to demand any information about his department he cares to ask.
        Where in the world does the public service set its own priorities and interests? Not in any democracy I can think of.

      • OK, let’s do this. Please tell me which past President, of any party, asked for these kind of detailed questions, on a single topic, from a single Department, prior to assuming office. Take your time, I’ll wait. Bush II was a climate skeptic, but did nothing like this.

      • @Chris (12:01 am)
        Another logical fallacy. Precedent is not required. This is normal business practice. Why should government be exempt?

      • “Please tell me which past President, of any party, asked for these kind of detailed questions”
        In Australia, this sort of detailed briefing is normal procedure for every incoming minister (in your terms, secretary). I can’t think of any reason that such procedure wouldn’t be normal for every western government, the US included.

      • “Bush II was a climate skeptic”
        Bush II was a cuck.
        Look, it’s really simple. The left have grown used to being able to do whatever they wanted because the cucks wouldn’t do anything to stop them. They’ve banned or bankupted entire industries. They’ve attacked and defunded those who oppose them. They’ve forced people out of their jobs because they won’t go along.
        The right have grown sick of it. They’ve been nice, they’ve tried to reach an amicable compromise, and the left have crapped on them.
        So they’ve said ‘no more Mr Nice Guy’. Now, any tactic the left have used is fair game. If Trump sacks every single one of these people, not a tear will be shed, and the response to cries of ‘But that’s not NICE!’ will be ‘But we don’t care’.
        You’re not in Cucksas any more. The left wanted a Culture War. Well, now they’ve got one.
        They’re about to learn why you never want to make the Saxons hate.

      • The media is only talking about one department, therefore the questions were only given to one department.
        It never ceases to amaze me what qualifies as proof to a warmist.

      • Maybe Don just wants to talk to them. He seems to be getting around to talking to people without writing a letter to them but, talk is really cheap. It also seems that it is out in the open. That is when talk becomes a commodity that becomes worth more than money. Insiders are everywhere.

      • Gee, Trump has retracted the list of questions, and said it was a mistake in judgement by someone on his transition team. So much for your arguments that this is business as usual.

    • The difference is that Trump is the DoE’s boss and he ultimately approves their funding (or lack thereof). He also appoints all of their senior leadership, who serve at his pleasure.

    • @Chris: Nice trolling….
      There is a dramatic difference between attacking independent folks for thinking AGW a farce, and The Boss asking just what his staff is working on and where they spend his budget.
      One is intimidation, the other normal management legal obligation.

      • Sure, EM, the fact that he is doing this for one department, in one area only (not, for example, on research into fusion) is just random. I’ve got a swamp in Florida to sell you, are you interested?

      • Chris, how do you know he is doing this for one department only? The fact that only the DOE is complaining is NOT proof that no other department was asked similar questions.l

      • Chris, perhaps DOE is just the lowest hanging fruit. You do not know for certain that this hasn’t or will not happen to other agencies. Even if it only every applies to DOE, so what? The boss has a right to know what’s going on in his agencies. It’s the executive branch, and he’s the chief executive.

      • Chris, you keep claiming that only the DOE is being asked questions, yet you refuse to provide proof to back up that statement.

      • Chris,
        I had a client, about 12 years ago, that had 20 acres of ground (about 6 acres of swamp-wetland). I approached the BLM with the similar question … “is there funding left to purchase wetland?”
        the answer was “Yes”
        We sold the Feds 5 acres of swamp for about $45,000 per acre….
        It was 25 years ago that the client had bought the entire property for $200,000.
        So Chris, If the dems get back into power and create more rules that allow for purchase of swamp for “environmental benefit”, I’ll take an option on your swamp … let me know where it is .

    • Chris – you are paranoid. What on earth makes you think that Trump wants to take “punitive action”?? But even if he did he couldn’t – because you have laws in the United States, haven’t you?? People can only be punished there if criminal action can be proved. Trump would, I think, be hard pressed to prove that it is a crime to believe in AGW.

      • Me thinks Chris may be worried about his job. Trump is a business man, and he is going to look for dead wood wherever he can. Finally an executive who is NOT a career politician. Best thing that could happen for America.

      • Jvc, I’m a business man who lives in Asia. My job is totally secure and has nothing to do with government. I can’t speak for whether you are deadwood.

    • Chris, you are paranoid – what on earth makes you think that Trump wants to “take punitive action”?? And even if he did, he couldn’t – because in the US there must be proof that you have committed a crime before you can be punished. And I think Trump would be hard pressed to prove in a court of law that it is a crime to believe in AGW!!

    • Chris, “presumably to take punitive action” is the strawman assumption.
      Yes, that is quite the assumption. Beyond that exactly zero WUWT posters are calling for persecution of workers or firing of professors because they argue for CAGW.
      In fact most here would love to see real debate before a national audience; say Richard Lindzen, Christopher Monckton, Craig Idso against any alarmists.
      Now if certain CAGW proponents were found to have purposely and falsely manipulated data with intent to deceive, then prosecution is welcome.
      Beyond that, CAGW alarmists are happy to reach in and take from the pockets of others, whereas skeptics had no such motivation.

    • It isn’t hypocritical unless the critics profess to support study of the AGW hypothesis as a useful, then turn around and fire the people working on it Chris. What’s being done is the people who write the checks are asking for the names of the people they want to fire.
      Nothing hypocritical about it. Look it up.

    • Chris, the work you’re looking for is turnabout. It’s no use whining when your own tactics are used back at you, since you’ve already established that they’re fair play.

    • Ah, so when were you last here feeling sorry for climate skeptics? What sort of ‘punitive’ action to you predict? The same that the skeptics got ? i.e. a loss of their livelihood. Remember it was the warmists pointing their fingers, but they don’t like it when the finger points their way and YOU talk about hypocrisy ?

    • If your boss asks for details of what you’ve done on your onw money in your own time you have every reason to be offended. Tell ’em to get lost.
      But if your boss asks for details of what you’ve done on theirmoney in their time you really ought to tell ’em the truth.
      There is no business where yo can get away with this. It’s an embezzlers charter.

    • well mate if they actually were proud and did good science..wouldnt they be GLAD to pin their name on their work and admit what they worked on?
      to the people who provide the job the building they work in , and their wages?

    • I love it when leftists assume that everyone else has evil motives.
      Projection in action.
      Regardless, these people work for the taxpayer.

    • No. This is going after the fraud. AND the people who tried to abuse their authority. See, this is where the hypocrites finally get what’s coming to them.
      The word you’re actually looking for is ‘Karma’.
      And, oh YEAH, I’m all for it.

      • The fraud, they are going after the fraud!!!!! Yes, that “fraud” that has the vast majority of climatologists, the Fortune 1000, the oil and gas companies, the insurance companies, and the global investment community convinced.

      • Chris – just because a lot of people go along with the fraud – for money, funding, or PR – or whatever reason – does not validate anything. In fact, that’s exactly the problem – orthodoxy has stacked the deck with political allies and they have advised/coerced the rest. If anyone was actually ‘convinced’ they would be going forward full steam instead of PR stunts (or faking emissions tests).
        Your crybaby wails of ‘everybody says so’ is petulant and ridiculous.

    • “POTUS CANNOT veto by line item — it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL per SCOTUS.”
      And yet Obama decided that people could sell marijuana, and use banks to deal with their drug money, even though it’s a violation of federal law. I could name a dozen others. Obama called the constitution’s bluff. Congress is powerless.

  7. Probably the “credentials” for a great many of them have nothing to do with what they are actually doing.

  8. Well, Rick Perry said he wanted to eliminate the Energy Department, and Trump is going to appoint Perry to head the Energy Department tomorrow. This ought to be fun.

    • The next four years are shaping up to be the most emotionally satisfying days of my entire life.
      I suspect that many of Trump’s appointees are being hired to do specific jobs, and many will then depart.
      The writing on the wall is that Trump and his team will go through the entire federal budget item by item and simply cross many of them right off.
      It will be the most satisfying thing I can imagine to hear nightly of the list of government leeches and swamp rats to be fired that day.
      i think it has not sunk in with many how drastically things are about to change…we have the first ever President who is not a career politician, and who owes nothing to anyone except the taxpayers of the US.
      He will do the job like it has never been done before…like a businessman who takes over a company and simply fires people who are not essential to the bottom line.
      This is how he will accomplish what his goal surely is…to be remembered by history as the best President the United States has ever had.
      He knows full well that he cannot allow dead weight to remain and also do the other things he has said…balance the budget, spend on infrastructure, create jobs on a massive scale…make America great again!
      I know many are thinking he cannot actually do what he says he will do, cannot really terminate an entire department.
      Well, they also said he could not get nominated or elected.
      The biggest surprises are yet to come…just wait and see.

      • The line-item veto is unconstitutional per SCOTUS. The POTUS can’t cut spending he does not agree with — he either signs the budget as presented to him by Congress, or doesn’t.

      • Menicholas – Word for word, you’ve pegged exactly how I feel and how I see it. Never has a President had to unravel such a mess and never has one been so free to do so. He is no one’s puppet and no one’s slave. Donald Trump will get the job done, one can see it already in the choices he is making.
        This is the most exciting time to be alive and I am so glad to be here and to witness the massive turn-around that is unfolding. I hope the whole world is dragged into line and the oppressive ideologies of the Left get thrown off once and for all. It’s been a long time coming.

    • Chis@$1,000,000,000,000,.com
      do you drive a car ?
      Well please bring it to me next time you require a fix, I could “work” a couple of hundred million $ into the bill.

    • I am personally aware of what happens when funding dries up on projects. The projects dry up, and go away, and so do the jobs associated with those projects. Most people working within the DOE complex have had projects disappear at one time or another. In some cases, it is possible to transfer over to a different project. Sometimes a person goes into a holding pattern, which can end in either another project, or in unemployment. Everyone in the DOE complex is dependent on the vagaries of funding. The continuing resolutions have been a real headache.

      • Janice is correct. If functions are eliminated and the budget is reduced, there can be a formal Reduction in Force (RIF), which is a formal process to identify the most qualified people to be retained to perform the retained functions and tasks. Those employees not retained can apply to other agencies that have open positions for which they are qualified or they can seek employment outside the government. (I survived a RIF at an agency where I worked and eventually retired after 29 years of government service.)

      • He he, Janice. I saw in one gov dept everybody ‘sacked’ (displaced) and they all had to reaply for their jobs. All the deadweights were forced to find other positions in the dept or redunancy. It was a delight to see, as a taxpayer!
        Maybe Trump could try that one 🙂

  9. Insubordination: not obeying authority, refusing to follow orders. Not the best way to ensure continued employment in a cushy, government paid job, I suspect, but certainly providing ample evidence of bravado and courage as one falls on one’s sword.

  10. I loved the construction ‘Can you’ and remarked that it was a request that meant ‘Do so or demonstrate your deceit or your incompetence’. The reply is ‘We can but won’t’.
    That is insubordination. It likely attempts to cover both deceit and incompetence and it will be a joy for Trump and Perry to uncover how much of each, for there are volumes to be filled with the tales.

  11. “We will be forthcoming with all publicly available information with the transition team. We will not be providing any individual names to the transition team.”
    Wait…what? Are they saying that the names of who is on what committee, or who attended this or that, or who is working on what is NOT publicly available information? As tax payers, that information falls under the FOIA. And all it takes is looking up the expense accounts and/or international flights paid for by the department to destination cities during those time frames. Making the new BOSS dig for those stats is no way to get on the new BOSS’S good side.

  12. Amazing response by political appointees who lose their jobs on the transition and a horrible situation for the career employees who are doing there job as directed by said political appointees. Maybe some of those employees should leak the answers. Gov Perry is going to have no problem finding the rats I believe.


      Superbly well done.
      Thanks for sharing that, Neil Jordan!
      LAUGH — OUT — LOUD!

    • If anyone wants to add that video to their “favorites,” here is the youtube link (remove the — in the middle of “youtube” before copying/pasting it into your browser): —

      • Gee… a spectacularly failed National Socialist bemoaning the present Global Socialist AGW policy failing… yeah, I can see the humor in that! Both completely out of touch with reality and imploding…

    • I find these Nazi vids supremely ironic when the Trumpsters are probing to construct a list of those who must wear a yellow star.
      [???? Just who is being persecuted by whom? .mod]

      • projection is the single most important “tell” of progressive social justice warriors: goebbels himself noted that effective propaganda was to accuse your enemy of everything you are doing. yes, supremely ironic indeed.

      • Teacher Hillary sent me home with a gold star one day. It said I was ‘deplorable’. She was so pleased to award me that star.

  13. Quite humorous really. What “…..many in our workforce (are) unsettled…..”. Isn’t the Science settled after all???
    A Freudian slip of massive and portentous proportion!!
    I guess there are many questioning Scientists who have also felt “unsettled” after being beaten up by all and sundry because they held different views. (Willie Soon, Roger Pielke Jr,, Bob Carter etc etc).
    Grist to the Mill..

  14. @ all scientists-for-hire (by enviroprofiteers):
    “You’re fired! — Donald Trump

    The Energy Dept. employees have nothing to fear — if they have been doing honest, bona fide, science.

  15. If the head of the Foxes sent a formal request to the Hens to document how many eggs they had laid in the last year, the above is what we might expect from the Roosters.

  16. It’s VERY difficult to get fired from a public-sector job, however, blatant insubordination of a lawful order is one action sufficient for immediate termination.
    Trump and his administration must immediately fire anyone that’s insubordinate, and soon the message will be understood…
    Trump and his administrators must also issue orders with very tight timelines or Leftist minions will just run the delay game.. Anyone that doesn’t comply with timelines also gets fired.
    There is a new sheriff in town: comply or your career will die…
    Make my day…. I hope many millions of public-sector employees quit or take early retirement and are not replaced. Attrition alone could balance the federal budget.

    • ” I hope many millions of public-sector employees quit or take early retirement…”
      They do not have the intellectual/moral integrity to quit. Furthermore, they do not perceive that they are “off base”. Rather, they believe that the president-elect is the one who is “off base.”

      • Most (not all) of government bureaucrats are in their cushy jobs because the pay, high job security and benefits are excellent with little concern about productivity, efficiency or merit as demanded by the private sector…
        Yes, in the private sector, one has to show results or you’re fired…. What a concept…
        Trump will try to create a private-sector meritocracy environment within the public sector, which many bureaucrats will find difficult, if not impossible, to work under.
        Again, Trump’s new public-sector raison d’etre will be: comply to meritocracy or your career will die…
        It’ll be very interesting to see how this plays out.

    • The usual sequence is to offer a buy-out to induce people to take early retirement. If too few accept, the next step is to do a Reduction in Force (RIF). See my comment at 8:53 pm, 13 Dec. for more info.

      • SRI, it is only money. I am not exaggerating: Money is the cheapest thing you have as a manager.
        Spend anything you can to get rid of a poor employee. They destroy any chance you might have to satisfy your customers. In the public arena, customers are citizens.
        More on this later.

      • Frankly, I think that President Trump should eliminate all positions created since 2016 and RIF the current holders of those positions.

    • Are we sure there’s been any insubordination yet? Seems to me all this public noise is just posturing as long as it’s just a “transition team” in action. Does this team have any real authority at all? The DOE still works for Obama’s team, right?
      Come January we may see a bit more cooperation from the career bureaucrats. The political warriors won’t last very long.

    • Actually they do. They are, after all, the basis on which payments are made and essential in demonstrating correct decisions in any possible audit.

    • I think he just provided some very nice evidence for “not a team player**.” Heh, heh.
      ** one of the approaches employment law attorneys use to get rid of difficult-to-fire bad apples in the U.S.

    • You better think twice, have you been naughty or nice? The lumps of coal in the stockings on the 25th may change a few minds earlier.
      What? You think Santa doesn’t know?

  17. “the department will not comply.”
    Demonstrating the need to Fire a whole lot of Bureaucrats.
    Smart professional response would have been, we respectfully delay answering questions until Mr. Trump is sworn as President. At which time we will provide answers to all questions.

    • Absolutely agree with this one. And it would be justified, since there is clearly a very large amount of work involved in preparing correct answers to each of the 74 questions.
      To just flat-out refuse was clearly intended to publicly antagonize the transition team.

    • It’s worse than you think. Not only was he speechwriter for that buffoon and global warming blowhard Markey, prior to that he was Senior Communications Associate at NRDC (National Resources Defence Council – think board members Leo DiCaprio, Robert Redford and Wendy Schmidt, wife of Google CEO Eric Schmidt – and before that account executive at Fenton Communications (famous host of the infamous Real Climate). An experienced propagandist. Time for him to hit the road.

  18. President Reagan said government was the problem, but he was just too nice of a guy to really do anything about it. Not so Trump. We are in for an internal government cat fight of epic proportions.

  19. Although not surprising, this seem to be an arrogant reply especially to someone is soon to become your boss. Looks like an awful start to your new manager. It would seem that the reply would have been better if they proposed what they could provide in reply to the request and give a better reason why it is difficult to reply to the specific request, the reason given is arrogant.
    For example I assume their must be an organization chart with names on it which describes the various department and functions of the entire organization and sub organization charts giving more specifics for each sub department.
    Furthermore working for a well managed engineering company, we were required to submit every year a comprehensive list of accomplishments for an annual review with our supervisor including goals for next year. These documents should be available for review
    Also when I was an officer in the Army Engineers, I was in charge of a branch in the School of Engineers teaching maintenance and repair of some specific equipment and we went through a comprehensive audit where we had to justify the number of personnel in our branch considering the workload and number of classroom hours we were expected to provide.
    Am I naive about how the government currently runs it’s various departments today? Based on my work in alternative fuels it seems to me that there are too many conferences going on with massive attendance such that the employees in the government have no time left to do any useful work. Apparently they want to cover this up?

  20. First we had “Hope and Change”. Now we have Donald “Climate Change” and his socially liberal picks for cabinet positions. Yet y’all insist he’s some kind of monster conservative. Some kind of New York liberal.

  21. This is exactly the right response. Public servants need to be protected from political processes so that
    they can do what they are directed to do so without fear of reprisals from the next incoming administration.
    If Trump wants officials who will do their best to implement new policies then he needs to ensure that they
    feel secure in their positions and not subject to a witch hunt for doing what the previous administration told
    them to do.
    It should be noted that the transition team asked a list of 74 questions and the department is only refusing
    to answer one. And ultimately Trump will have a better civil service as a result.

    • What if the “Public servants” are part and parcel of the political process? What protection should they have?

    • I suggest that model is well and truly broken, if it ever existed. Consider the punitive IRS attacks against Conservatives – if President Obama had not been able to fire specific people, had not been able to investigate what was happening, it would have been difficult to tackle that particular mess.

      • Somehow the stables did not get cleaned out and Lois Lerner got away with contempt of Congress:
        “On May 7, 2014, on a near party-line vote (with six Democrats joining all Republicans) the House of Representatives voted to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the Congressional investigation.[139] House Republicans dismissed Lerner’s invocation of the Fifth Amendment as ineffective, with Issa stating: “You don’t get to use a public hearing to tell the public and press your side of the story and then invoke the Fifth.”[140] Democrats characterized the contempt proceeding as a “witch hunt” geared toward the 2014 midterm elections.[140]”
        The above quote is from Wikepedia.

      • But he could and did fire the people in charge. So what you implied could not be dealt with was in fact dealt with.

    • The incoming admin has the responsability to know every employee and their function. Not informing them of this basic information is ridiculous.

      • Geronimo, do you even read what you post? “they can do what they are directed to do so without fear of reprisals from the next incoming administration”
        So it is OK to do what the old administration tells them to do, but not the incoming?
        I’ll remember your intelligence level next time I see one of your posts.

    • Political processes such as the enabling legislation which spells out their roles? Or do they just reinterpret legislation and do their own thing?
      Congress writes the laws which defines the scope. The Chief Executive, through his Secretaries, implements his policies within the law.

    • So it’s fine for one president to “fundamentally transform” things, but not for his elected replacement to decide to do things in a different direction?

  22. Well guess what Department of Energy people? Your power as an agency is subordinate to the powers of Congress and the President. Under the separation of powers, all power is divided among the 3 branches of government. Agencies are not a branch of the government and can be dismantled at any time. They cannot deny the president the information he seeks because they don’t have the power to do so. They can be fired and replaced at will.

  23. Well since Obama ordered complete cooperation, firing the persons responsible for non-cooperation would be appropriate even after Obama leaves office, unless of course Obama instructs them its OK to not cooperate.

  24. Pat Frank: December 13, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Ernest Moniz is the Energy Secretary. He has a Ph.D. in theoretical physics and was head of the science team that negotiated the Obama Administration’s nuclear pact with Iran.
    He is also a believer in AGW, stating during a talk that climate models do a pretty good job of simulating the climate.

    A physics PhD who says he believes in AGW is either: lazy (never investigated for himself), incompetent (can’t understand physics, the subject he is supposedly trained in), insane (lives in another world), or dishonest (knows the truth and says otherwise).

  25. I’m betting this will cause a flood of whistle blowers and that is the intent. The defense against AGW that has been denied for the past 8 years has begun. The debate that never happened but was settled will take place and be unsettled. Who and how complicity is determined and at what level will be what everyone worries about and that will drive the whistle blowers from the bottom up with everyone trying to save their skins. Can’t say I feel for any of them even though many were just protecting themselves and their families. This will be a nasty purge and I’m looking forward to it.

  26. US Energy Dept., Born under Carter in 1977 and quickly had 20, 000 employees. Today 93, 000 employees and in 2015 a budget of $28 billion. Per wikipedia. Goal was to make the US energy independent and started off right away subsidizing alternative energy. So, how has that worked out? Let’s hope Perry can drain that end of the swamp.

    • If they were all full time, that would be $301,000 per full time employee.
      If some are part time, then the FTE rate is even higher. That is effing absurd!

      • Government employee FTE (full-time-equivalent) is not the issue. It is how many contractor employees there are.
        The Federal government lies to us about how many people work for the government. The numbers have exploded with off the books people.

      • @stock
        They fund lots of energy projects with loans — that’s where much of the money goes.
        There are also many fellowships granted to researchers.

      • @Karl, but they should also have a stream of incomes coming in also. So that doesn’t explain a very high Full Time Equivalent Cost

      • Yes they do and they are ruining the countries they are in, the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia to name but a few.

      • Do you have any evidence that any of these DOEs do any good?
        Or do you actually feel that everyone else is doing is doing it, is actually a valid defense of anything?

      • You do understand that research into fracking, which has given the US near energy independence, was funded by DoE when the private sector had given up, correct? DoE also looks after the nation’s nuclear arsenal, in addition to research in that area – 60% of the funding of DoE is in that area.

    • @ Jim — astounding in how you present information
      DOE simply combined FEA, ERDA, FPC and several other orgs.
      BTW — 12 Billion is Spent on Nuclear Security (think mainly weapons)

    • The only goal for any government bureaucracy, is to spend every penny allocated for their budget so the next years budget can be inflated. Each promotion generally results in multiple hires as the newly promoted “director” needs to replace him/her self with an entire department to justify the promotion. Good friend use to sell computers for Dell—just before the end of the fiscal year, government orders for hardware would skyrocket–year after year.. Read recently that the DoD cannot account for some 6 trillion in funding–gone, lost in space, whatever. Would love to see the new POTUS reduce the size of the USG by about 50% if not more. Government should be run as any successful business is–no dead wood, no unproductive employees, no unproductive waste of funds.

  27. Eric,
    If each of the readers out here were to adopt ONE of the 74 questions included in
    Willis’s report of 4 days ago:
    and turn that question into a Freedom of Information request to our Department of
    Energy, the Department MIGHT have the answers by the time Trump makes the
    transition from just a citizen to President.
    Be polite. The FOI personnel at Energy are obliged by law to comply except when
    secrecy laws are involved.

  28. In 1204 Pope Innocent III commissioned Arnaud (or Arnau) Amalric (died 1225), a Cistercian abbot, papal legate and inquisitor and tasked Amalric with the Albigensian Crusade. Cistercian friar, Caesar of Heisterbach wrote that, Amalric, when asked by a Crusader how to distinguish the Cathars from the Catholics, answered:
    “Caedite eos! Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius”
    “Kill everybody! Surely the Lord knows who are his”.

    • I just love the Albigensian crusade and for that matter anyone who has heard of it, but I am fairly sure that quote is apocryphal. It is a bit like one of the Simon de Montfort’s famous last words, ” They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist….”

      • To be fair, it was General John Sedgwick who really said that, but Simon (5th Earl of Leicester, not the more famous 6th Earl) was killed by a stone from a mangonel on 25 June 1218 during the seige of Toulouse (during the crusade) and it would have been an appropriate line to go out on. Bringing myself back on topic, The boys and girls at the DOE are about to be on the receiving end of a metaphorical attack from a trumptastic trebuchet. Not some candy-assed mangonel. Alea jacta est.

      • Apocryphal or not, it is on point.
        How about this quote:
        “You’re fired.”
        — Donald J. Trump

      • I can picture Trump recording a video to the American people, outlining the insubordination at the Department of Energy – and then saying, “YOU’RE FIRED!”

  29. Washington DC is having a party while America is in recession. It is time for America to party and DC to be in recession. And Yes the two are related.

  30. I suspect that the response was formulated by employees with political appointments. So they will soon be out of a job in any case. All this does is delay the inevitable as the questions are completely legitimate for the new appointees to ask.

  31. In the long run, Mr. Burnham-Snyder and whoever tells him what to say, may end up costing a great many people their jobs. The President-elect has apparently chosen Governor Rick Perry to be the new Secretary of Energy; Governor Perry may be more than happy to eliminate entire components of the Department. And if I were an employee of the various contractors, they will find out that it is not impossible to issue new contracts to new contractors. As noted, this may take some time, but in four years time, it can probably be accomplished. The arrogance and unaccountability of these folks is amazing. No surprising, but amazing nonetheless.

  32. It would be amusing to ask exactly these questions through FOIA. Which attempt would end up getting the information first? 🙂

    • The standard form for Department of Energy FOI requests is here:
      You may also mail in your FOIA request to the following address:
      FOIA Requester Service Center
      1000 Independence Avenue, SW
      Mail Stop MA-46
      Washington, DC 20585
      Or by facsimile at (202) 586-0575. If you have any questions, please give
      them a call at (202) 586-5955.
      Please be polite and keep it simple.

  33. The Department of Energy is near the top of the list of useless federal government organizations. The country would be much better off without this dinosaur. There are plenty of other organizations that harm the economy while wasting tax dollars and most of them are unconstitutional.
    Out of 16 cabinet level appointments only four are constitutional, namely the State Department, the Department of Defence, the US Treasury and the Attorney General.
    The other twelve need to be closed down ASAP and especially these:
    Department of Agriculture
    Department of Education
    Department of Energy
    Please listen to an explanation by constitutional scholars that concentrates on just one of these federal departments:

    • ALL are constitutional
      To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
      — Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution

  34. Apparently not many on this thread have seen a corporate killer in action. Ask for answers and see who jumps. Not many guvment employees have experienced a takeover as that just doesn’t happen to them, until now. Those who are doing their jobs and well down the food chain are safe. The top, with attitude, ha, heads will roll. This could be like nothing seen before in our government.

    • +1 It will be business as unusual. Brings to mind the “efficiency experts” hired to improve the profitability of a company before it’s put on the block.

    • @ Steve
      The top as you say are political appointees — they expected to not be re-appointed they are the 4000 that need to be hired.
      The POTUS-Elect can’t do anything remotely like a takeover. Line-item veto is UNCONSTITUTIONAL per SCOTUS, so it’s sign the budget or don’t.
      The statutes that protect the civilian federal employee, also protect the military federal employee — FAT CHANCE CHANGING THEM.

    • @ Steve
      Please list the corporations the POTUS Elect has taken over.
      He threatened take-over (greenmailed) Holiday Inn, Bally’s, and several others — but never engineered a takeover.
      Then his luck ran out with American Airlines.

    • The DOE provides the budgets to all 20 National Labs, such as Sandia, Lawrence Livermore, and all the rest. They provide very important work, including basic science and R&D on technological ideas that are too far out to be in the grasp of for-profit companies.
      Presumably, if the DOE is closed, these labs will be transferred to another Department; perhaps Interior.

    • I can’t imagine getting rid of the entire DOE without re-creating some parts of it. Isn’t the DOE is responsible for producing all the nuclear fuels used by military and civilian government agencies? Hanford, INEEL/INL, and Oak Ridge are under DOE I think? NASA depends on DOE for the plutonium is uses to power deep space missions. Not sure about the Navy? Does the DOE produces fuel for them too or do they have their own facilities?
      Someone would need to do that anyway.

  35. To anyone with half a brain ! Do you seriously believe that there are not government departments (in any country) that have found a way to cheat the system and over inflate their worth and usefulness?

  36. Anything that DOE pays for in the realm of professional society memberships and conferences attended are pretty much a matter of Department record. All refusing to respond does is slow down the process. However, professional society memberships that are neither required by nor paid for by DOE would, in my mind, come under none of your business.

  37. “Trump’s transition team asked for the names of people who have worked on climate change and the professional society memberships of lab workers”.
    Iv’e done that in UK as a Govt Auditor (Software Systems – not IT) of a UK Defence Contractor. Its in the procurement contract and within the scope of an audit at anytime. The list of project staff working are easily known and of course an auditor will meet them in the course of a series of audits. However, on an occasion where I asked for Professional Quals the roof almost fell in and it took 2 weeks of head cooling to get to view the their CV’s mainly. Lucky perhaps (for me) that I didn’t drill into the CV’s. Its actually part of the contracted Quality Systems Standard in UK – ISO 9000. Will be same in US with DOD standards or similar/related.
    You don’t go for a personal or money hit…Quality is enough to reveal all.

  38. Another question comes to mind in respect to America , how many government and non government agencies are studying / researching climate change ?
    If it was looking for a cure for something fatal like cancer maybe duplicity is ok but for something that’s only a theory has had untold billions spent on it for zero human benefit and zero empirical evidence when is it time to say enough is enough get back to real world problems .

  39. Well, if they don’t want to comply with this simple request, what about closing the department altogether? I don’t think anyone really had any objections when my own details where handed over to the wolves, for them to pressure all azimuth on my life, like a futile attempt to make me change opinion about climate change. It’s high time to give them a taste of their own medecine.

  40. Reminds me of a situation with a former employer. The corporation used to reorganize every five years or so. In one reorganization a new senior manager took over the department I was in. He asked for an organization chart and saw one individual whose role wasn’t well-defined. He asked about him and was told, “Leave him alone–he has friends in high places.” The senior manager didn’t follow up.
    The scenario repeated in the next reorganization. Except this time, the senior manager asked, “Who are the friends?” It turned out the sponsor had left the company years before. The protected employee disappeared soon after.
    I hope the new administration handles the Energy Department like the second senior manager did where I was working.

  41. Could someone please advise the difference between the DOE (Department of Energy) and DOE (Department of the Environment)? Many of the responses seem to indicate that the DOE (Department of Energy) is responsible for various environmental matters.
    Phil December 14, 2016 at 12:18 am;
    AndyE December 13, 2016 at 9:35 pm;
    Chris Hanley December 13, 2016 at 9:44 pm
    for instance.

    • The generation of energy is deemed to be the cause of CAGW. Surely, that is obvious. Very expensive changes in public policy are being justified by this theory. Nuclear energy has the benefit of no so-called greenhouse gas emissions. Nuclear energy is regulated by the Department of Energy. The economic impact of changes in how energy is generated is not trivial. It is central to the economy and the profitability of businesses, who may have reason to re-locate somewhere else that may have lower costs, including energy costs. Decisions being made today about energy generation will have an impact on the economy, jobs, the viability of businesses and on geo-political events far into the future. Therefore, the Department of Energy is very much at the center of the environmental issues.

  42. Isn’t it just fantastic
    Here in the UK, by Government order, there are cameras everywhere watching every move we make on the streets, public places and in the shops, more cameras recording our vehicles number plates, all our phone call, texts, emails and website visits are recorded by the NSA and GCHQ and how many others?
    – and its all done on the premise of ‘If you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve nothing to fear’
    Plus countless more cameras set up (and carried around in phones) by individuals on the same premise.
    But now, when Government employees are asked to justify themselves, they describe themselves as ‘unsettled’

  43. As the swamp drains, in the muck left behind will be found thousands of keyboards with missing Ts.
    And it will be a pleasing sight.

  44. If I were the new DOE Secretary, I would demand from all DOE employees to voluntarily give these information about themselves individually. All those who don’t comply with the demand for information will be included in a massive retrenchment program. They will be all fired or reassigned to Antarctica to study climate change.

      • If you are doing a good job, there is nothing to hide. If you are wasting government resources on alarmist propaganda and conferences, keep it secret. I don’t have to ask if you are wasting government resources. Just tell me what you have been doing for eight years. The good ones have no problem with that.

  45. I did not expect the refuse. As usual i expected they would form a comity to gather the informations. First start to set up statutes and choose a word leader .. and so on and so on….

  46. He added that the request “left many in our workforce unsettled.”
    I bet it does , they had years of easy times and fat living , many know they could never get a job anywhere else and they have so looked forward to the little ‘trips ‘ to IPCC conference etc , staying in some rather nice hotels and seeing some of the worlds greatest cities on the tax payers dim . I be ‘unsettled’ to in their position .

  47. What’s to hide if you’ve been doing your job and not wasting public (it isn’t the governments) money. But if you’ve been doing wrong and you know it you’re never going to want to tell are you!!!
    James Bull

  48. “How many DoE employees does it take to change a lightbulb?”
    Well, after jan. 20th, I guess they have to call in an electrician……

    • I watch this clock constantly. If there is any interference in the transition timetable, I’ll be the first to know.

  49. Many of these new managers are from industry where mergers and take overs are common. This approach is common to their experiences. Most Feds can see the writing on the walls of this request. The memo identifies the low hanging fruit for future action. It identifies the functions closely supporting the actual MISSION of the agency. It requires justification for those further from the core. It also requires them to identify the legal foundations for their existence. Failure to do so puts their organizations on a list of POTENTIALLY redundant or non-mission critical for future action.
    Future actions can be benign such as a BUDGET FREEZE, which culls projects/personnel naturally. Or it can be active by targeted cuts of budget classes (how the funding is organized). Culling is the end goal and, these employees know what is coming.
    Now, there is a rule in Public Administration classes which loosely states: “you are where you sit.” This means that when Perry is the head of an DOE his normal reaction will shift to organizational defense from killing it. A perfectly normal reaction, but it does not come without potential dramatic peripheral mission shifts. DOE is not dead.
    The DOE mission statement: “The mission of the Energy Department is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.” There is ample room in that statement to focus efforts, especially on PROSPERITY.

  50. That’s ok. A non-response is a response. They’ve got less than 45 days until they can’t get away with that anymore – and they know it.

  51. As many senior DoD officials, flag officers, and O6s have discovered over the years, travel vouchers are forever. In 90 days, or so, all will be revealed.
    It’s the nature of the letter that amuses me. Their response was impertinent and a mistake. A skilled, career bureaucrat would have deflected it saying they needed more time to gather data. Some out going political appointee wrote that when they should be busy selling their house and finding a new job.

  52. Q: Which part of the Constitution authorizes the Federal government to establish a “Department of Energy”?
    A: No part of the Constitution authorizes such a thing and as the 10th Amendment clearly states the Federal government has no such power.
    End the DOE (and all the other unconstitutional power grabbing agencies)

    • To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
      — Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution
      The Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977 (Pub.L. 95–91, 91 Stat. 565, enacted August 4, 1977),

      • Karl–you have made this same reply (duh) several times now, but have you actually read section 8, or all of article I??? Sec 8 contains a very limited list of what congress can do, and what you quote gives them the ability to make “necessary and proper laws” to carry out that limited list of duties. Very little is “vested” by the constitution. The constitution does not give congress, nor the executive the right, or ability to rule over, or regulate anything not specifically itemized–no matter what various legislatures have done over the years, and scotus has played along with. Atthemurf is entirely correct–the constitution would have never been ratified without the group of amendments commonly known as the bill of rights. The 10th amendment,. although generally ignored, is chief among them, giving to the states all power not specifically granted to the federal government. The constitution has been “interpreted” to death, but it is written in rather plain and straight forward English, and every interpretation that gives the USG any power other than what is written is just a matter of opinion that has no legal justification in what is (should be) our rule of law. Would be nice if we could return to a constitutional republic as intended without all this “interpretive” BS, but I doubt that is possible. However, if Trump can succeed in cutting out a lot of unproductive fat from the system, so much the better for us all.

        • jvcstone–What you are overlooking is perhaps the most mischevious Supreme Court decision since the Slaughterhouse Cases undoing most of reconstruction, Wickard v. Filburn. It interprets the commerce clause to allow regulation of essentially all “commerce”, which includes damn near evverything. Rud Isvan is much more learned on the law, so perhaps he will comment on this thread.

  53. Give them enough rope…….
    Remember Capone was arrested on tax evasion charges.
    Trump can’t fire someone just because of wrongheaded, biased studies and papers in a civil service situation; but insubordination…..?

  54. Quite obviously the attempt to strike a noble, heroic pose by those rejecting the request are based upon the certainty that they will be replaced by the incoming administration – they realize that they are lapdogs who will no longer have a Federal govt master to pay them their obscene salaries. There is probably no need for the Trump guys to ask these people anything – there are records (which, if destroyed, could bring criminal charges against those noble fellows) and those records are public, taxpayer property, not the property of the rather ignorant fellows who are refusing to divulge them. They DO NOT belong to the Obama administration. I know these guys are stupid but I wonder if they realize the dangers they are subjecting themselves to? Loyalty to the end will play well for their future attractiveness as employees, as the Democratic Party needs all the look-no-evil, see-no-evil, hear-no-evil employees they can find. Loyalty trumps everything else for that org :
    “Intelligence? We don’t need no stinking intelligence around here!”

  55. I’m glad they feel unsettled, how many times have activist types called for (the few) honest scientists, teachers, journalists and politicians to be fired, to have their lives turned upside down for being justifiably sceptical. I sincerely hope the tables are turning, I want to see these disgraceful cowards suffering the same fate they would gladly inflict on others.

  56. Did the request literally ask what they employees “do on their work time,” or did it specifically ask for individual names of people who participated in certain activities?
    Y’know, you folks are really, really smart and I am never disappointed by the scientific content of this site’s comment sections. But you all continually disappoint me by deliberately spinning things in the same old time honored disingenuous fashion.
    As Eddy Vedder once said, “If you hate something, don’t you do it, too.”

    • Going to UN-sponsored climate conferences would have been part of their official work-time, Christopher.

      • Maybe, but that wasn’t my point.
        Asking broadly about the activities of a workforce is one thing, and asking specific questions about specific employees is a different thing. I have not a single problem with what the President-Elect did. My problem is with the way it was euphemistically presented. There is no need for that.

  57. I wish I had a job where I could tell my boss “none of your business what I do at work” and not get fired.

  58. Quite simple really.
    The head of the Department is told to instruct his staff to supply the information. If he refuses he is moved sideways to another post and someone is appointed who will give such an instruction.
    If Departmental staff now refuse to implement his instructions, then disciplinary proceedings must follow.
    I think the easiest and quickest way to get lawfully fired from any job is a refusal to follow a lawful and reasonable request.

  59. Energy Department spokesman Eben Burnham-Snyder has a BA in history from Wisconsin. His perspective on energy comes from what he gleaned while working for the Natural Resources Defense Council (prior to weaseling his way into a federal job under Obama). His perspective on communications (his job) comes from the same place.
    One of his NRDC press releases from 10 years ago: “Last month the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer, and fourteen other states filed a suit demanding that DOE comply with the law and deliver the standards. According to NRDC, the new rules could save enough energy each year to meet the needs of up to 12 million American households, and avoid the need for dozens of new electric power plants.”
    Seems very similar to current New York AG fiasco suit. It might be very interesting to take a look at Eben’s tie in with the AG’s in the current suit and see what he was up to with respect Exxon.
    Sad part is that Eben will be able to walk right back to NRDC (or similar parasitic group) after he is forced out of the Fed trough; hell, NRDC probably still has a desk and computer in their offices that he has access to.
    A good part of Washington DC was a literal swamp 300 years ago … they drained/filled it then. It became re-infested and transitioned to a figurative swamp. Draining the figurative swamp simply means that the current resident parasites will morph into scavengers, still picking away at whatever others try to create. Simply draining the swamp isn’t enough … need to find out what was lurking there and make sure it can’t return in any form.

      • You do realize that not one job will be cut — don’t you?
        Try and cut jobs and Senators and Congressman get concerned and then they don’t vote for the bill that is required to cut the jobs.
        Will a few appointees not be re-appointed? Probably. Will there be any sweeping cuts? Nope

    • My guess is almost nothing coming from CNN on the subject of Trump, OR Climate Change, is anything other than enabling propaganda. They’ve pretty much proved word isn’t even ‘bias’ anymore.

  60. Since most of the DoE budget was and is for nuclear weapons, nuclear programs, and nuclear clean up from the Cold War, it will be rather easy to prune all the diseased (optional agenda) limbs off the agency with executive orders and budget proposals going forward.

  61. Invest in the Federal labs for basic science and engineering. They are both very important. Scrap the diversions of political science agendas and noncompetitive renewable energy tech versions that do not compare to best of breed solar we already have. Those few company leaders no longer need ITCs but the massive lobby sphere makes everyone think rooftop solar is equal to the best utility scale and that both need the heavy ITC support. Wrong!

    • at 50 cents per watt ( you can get UL listed A panels on special for as low as 28 cents per watt) for solar panels — the 30% federal subsidy is nice to have but isn’t the driver regarding rooftop solar.

    • I’m not sure I agree that one of the missions of the NLs should be doing fundamental science other than some mega projects, like experimental HEP, accelerator-based analytical science and nuclear power/weapons-related R&D. Research universities should be doing truly fundamental research as the peer review and culling system may be more efficient there (please, don’t snicker; it’s all relative!)

  62. I imagine they won’t be getting away with saying ‘no’ once Trump’s actually in office – assuming that they don’t find someway to RF us and overturn the election. I have not forgotten who’s still in power.

    • Such a request is likely a violation of the Privacy Act. The POTUS could allege improper activities or fraud, and then the OIG would come in and audit/investigate.
      Aside from that — there is not really a conceivable proper reason for the request. DOE spends money on things it is allowed to.

      • ‘there is not really a conceivable proper reason for the request.’
        Of course there is. It’s called ‘Climategate’. And long supporting list of improprieties that suggest world policy is being dictated on the basis of a fraud.
        Besides, Obama has shown us the way. Just do it. And then see if these government agencies – which as far as I’m concerned could simply cease to exist – feel like challenging an active and involved president.

  63. While you can’t directly fire the line GS folks, you most certainly can get a line slipped into the next budget revision that allows you to reorganize – which is bureaucratese for allowing the new Secretary to do whatever he wants to do. I can see a bunch of reorg auths in this year’s budget which will allow all agencies to downsize to the point where all Obama hires are let go. Of course they all have bumping privs based on seniority, but it is generally last in first out in these sorts of reorgs. The budget request can and should also have a line number of positions in it. Math on that number should be something along the lines of current workforce minus number of Obama hires.
    Note that the reorg was last used to hammer the CIA for undermining Bush 43’s Iraq and Iran wars from 2004 – 2006. The CIA ended up being 2 – 3 layers down the food chain from where they were previously.
    Finally, Trump is making noises about cutting benefits and pay for the GS federal employees. Like he doesn’t need another reason. Cheers –

    • No Congressman or Senator will vote for a bill that will result in large numbers of jobs being cut in their constituencies.
      The majority of DC jobs are Appointee Level and SES positions — necessary to manage the workforce, and required by law.
      Cut NASA — fat chance that gets past Senator Shelby/Sessions of AL
      rinse repeat for almost every major Agency on the chopping block — they are overwhelmingly staffed outside the district — with Congressional support

      • Karl inaccurately thinks: “The majority of DC jobs are Appointee Level and SES positions — necessary to manage the workforce, and required by law.” No, the vast majority of the DC Fed work force is made up of (GS/GM 2 THRU 15) working level personnel. Appointees and SES level jobs are a minor part of the work force. BTW, those appointees and SES level jobs work under different rules, and are much easier fired/moved.

      • Sen. Sessions will be the new Attorney General, if his Senate colleagues confirm him.
        IMO Sen. Shelby won’t care if NASA jobs are cut in NYC. Indeed, he’d probably be happy to get rid of Gavin Schmidt, the blogging Brit. Who blogs on the US taxpayers’ dime.

      • PS: Hard to have a more Southern name than Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. Unless maybe Robert E. Lee Sessions III, aka Bobbie Lee Sessions, aka Bubba.

      • ‘Constituencies’ is not represented by well-staffed government bureaucracies – those are the people that are supposed to serve constituencies. And it’s long past time these bloated offices are gutted. As well as a legislature that supports and enables it.
        It’s also time to get past people that simply acquiesce to the status-quo.

  64. MSM says Request has been retracted.
    as usual, CNN has an article full of “fake news” including the so many times debunked 97% consensus quote

  65. Trump’s nominee to run the Energy Dept, former TX governor Perry, has called for getting rid of the Energy Dept. He might be president today if he could have remembered during a 2012 debate all three of the depts. of which he wanted to get rid.

  66. From ABC NEWS Dec 14 13:03 EST

    Donald Trump’s transition team is backing away from a controversial questionnaire sent to the Department of Energy demanding names of employees who assisted in the Obama administration’s climate policy efforts.
    …. (More)

    Hope this is “Fake News”. The questions were valid. It should be public record who was paid by taxpayers to go to UN meetings.

    • Doesn’t make any difference who paid for it. If they are asked to attend because of their association with their job/employer they are in violation of their contract by not divulging.

    • The questions were valid and important, Mr. Rasey.
      That Trump is wimping out on this (and it appears unfortunately not to be phony news) is out of character and, reveals, a great need for him to get up to speed on the issue of human CO2 emissions.
      The currently politically motivated scientists-for-hire at DOE (and other agencies) are twisting this bit of appeasement to use it as pro-AGW/enviroprofiteer propaganda. That is, while the CURRENT state of affairs is that the Obama-administration scientists-for-hire are NOT using science to guide policy, they falsely accuse of being politically motivated those who DO want science to determine policy.
      @ Trump: Come on. Backing off on this one was UNWISE and WRONG.
      Whoever wrote the questionnaire is to be applauded. Good — for — you. That Trump didn’t back you up says nothing about you and a lot about him. VERY GLAD Trump was elected. Just disgusted at this particular cowardly move.
      I am hopeful, nevertheless! Cowardice such as this is born of ignorance. Trump is a quick learner. All will be well.

      • “I’ll keep an open mind” = I’ve made up my mind, move on to something the people care more about. Learn Trump talk. His picks for climate cabinet warriors tell more about his true intents. Don’t fall into the trap being set by the MSM that he will be ineffective before he’s even spelled out his road map. The good part is he doesn’t have to please anyone but his constituents.

  67. End it. Somehow we got along without a DoE until late 1977. As a former postdoc at DOE labs I could go on forever about the ills and damage that the system does to science, sucking in talented people, turning them into mindless zombies, and wasting vast resources while pooping out a miniscule amount of decent research. They exist to give the bureaucracy around them a raison d’etre. It has no mission other than to stare at the waste problems of the past and not solve them. Seriously, it needs to die.

  68. For those who can not be fired, I see a new long term re-assignment, as of January, at the to-be formed Antarctic Candle powered heating research camp.

  69. Karl, a troll above, sounds like a trouble maker. Whatever federal agency he works for should be figured out so he can be fired first.

  70. “…contains 74 questions including a request for a list of all department employees and contractors who attended the annual global climate talks hosted by the United Nations within the last five years.”

    The same United Nations that wants to collect $100 bn per year, for the Green Climate Fund? The same United Nations whose Climate Fund the President-elect has said we will not contribute to?
    If anyone in the Dept of Energy or any other federal agency has been communicating and meeting with the UN and other foreign powers while the 100 bn/yr fund is being established, this is a legitimate concern for all of us.***

    In its fiscal 2014 State and Foreign Operations budget proposal released in April, the Obama administration asked for $1.57 billion for contributions to international organizations, including $617.6 million for the U.N. operating budget — up from $568.8 million in fiscal 2012.
    But other agencies giving to the U.N. include the Departments of Labor, Energy, Agriculture, Defense, and Health and Human Services, CNS News reported.
    Fiscal 2007 legislation stipulated that the Office of Budget and Management (OMB) report all federal agencies’ contributions, but the requirement expired in 2011.

    Newsmax “America’s Real Contribution to U.N. Is Unknown” 2013

  71. Energy Department personnel who are climate change activists should be alarmed. You are going to be fired! You are a complete waste of time and money and an unnecessary drag on the federal budget. Your function is useless and completely unnecessary. Mr. Trump and Mr. Perry both believe that you have politicized climate science and corrupted the AGW issue. It’s time for you to be held accountable for abusing your office and public trust. Perhaps you should begin to search for another job such as working for the UN’s IPCC or other nonsensical climate agency where you can steal public funds from someone else. Perhaps a position with some private university would be available where you could get away with blatant propaganda for some longer period of time. In any case, you had better prepare yourself, your time remaining where you can drain funds from the U.S. taxpayers is almost over.

  72. “Energy Department Refuses Trump’s Request for Names on Climate Change” .

    Energy Department spokesman Eben Burnham-Snyder said Tuesday the department will not comply.
    “Our career workforce, including our contractors and employees at our labs, comprise the backbone of (the Energy Department) and the important work our department does. ”
    Civil disobedience from a states Department –
    who’do thought of that.

  73. “Energy Department Refuses Trump’s Request for Names on Climate Change” .
    ”Energy Department spokesman Eben Burnham-Snyder said Tuesday the department will not comply.”
    “Our career workforce, including our contractors and employees at our labs, comprise the backbone of (the Energy Department) and the important work our department does. ”
    Civil disobedience from a states Department –
    who’d thought of that.

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