Sen. Cantwell: ‘Potential ramifications are chilling’ from Trump transition team request

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell is concerned the Trump administration may be preparing to take “arbitrary action” against Energy Department employees who work on climate change issues

By:  Seattle Times Staff
Source: The Seattle Times

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., warns the incoming Trump administration may be preparing to “take arbitrary action” against Energy Department employees and contractors who worked on issues that include climate change and clean-energy technologies.

“The potential ramifications are chilling,” she wrote in a letter sent Tuesday to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “Federal civil service employees and government contractors may in the future be reluctant to perform certain tasks for fear that a subsequent election may bring retribution.”

Cantwell’s letter was sent in response to a request by President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team to the Energy Department. That request had 74 questions seeking documents and other information, including names of employees and contractors who participated in meetings associated with the cost of climate change.

An Energy Department spokesman on Tuesday said the names of individual employees who worked on climate change would not be turned over to the transition team

Cantwell, the ranking minority member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, requested that Moniz forward to the committee copies of all documents sent to the transition team.