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Washington Post: White House blocked State Department agency from warning about climate change

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WASHINGTON DC — The White House blocked a State Department intelligence staffer this week from issuing testimony to the House warning that human-caused climate change could be “possibly catastrophic,” according to The Washington Post.

The Post, citing several senior administration officials, reported that officials from several different White House offices took issue with written testimony Rod Schoonover of the State Department planned to deliver to the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.

The apparent attempt by the White House to mute wide-ranging concerns within the administration about human-caused climate change falls in line with President Donald Trump’s broader rejection of a scientific consensus about the threat of climate change and push to shift the US away from global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Officials told the Post that the White House Office of Legislative Affairs ultimately decided Schoonover could go before the committee but would not let him submit prepared written testimony to the panel.

The Post said it could not reach Schoonover for comment on Friday and that the White House declined to comment on “internal policy review.” CNN has reached out to the White House for comment.

The written testimony, as published by the Post, offered major warnings “on the national security implications of climate change.” It stood in marked contrast to the generally dismissive tone Trump has taken towards climate change and to recent remarks from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“Climate change will have wide-ranging implications for US national security over the next 20 years through global perturbations, increased risk of political instability, heightened tensions between countries for resources, a growing number of climate-linked humanitarian crises, emergent geostrategic competitive domains and adverse effects on militaries,” the blocked testimony stated.

It concluded: “Absent extensive mitigating factors or events, we see few plausible future scenarios where significant — possibly catastrophic — harm does not arise from the compounded effects of climate change.”

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