News & Politics

Defiant Department of Energy Withholding Information from Trump Transition Team

Federal employees at the Department of Energy believe that they are entitled to their jobs. That’s the sense conveyed by their defiant behavior in response to their incoming boss, Donald Trump. From NPR:

The Department of Energy is refusing the Trump transition team’s request to name those who have worked on climate change within the department, because of concerns about what the incoming administration will do with the names. President-elect Donald Trump has denied climate change is real.

NPR’s Jennifer Ludden tells our Newscast unit the request of such names was included in a 74-question document distributed to the agency’s workforce. Jennifer says, “The Trump team wants the names of career employees and contractors who have attended U.N. climate talks over the past five years. It also wants emails about those meetings.”

The full list of questions can be found here.

On Tuesday, the department released a statement saying the questionnaire had “unsettled” many in its workforce, that it would “be forthcoming with all [publicly] available information” but it would withhold “any individual names.”

“We are going to respect the professional and scientific integrity and independence of our employees at our labs and across our department,” said spokesman Eben Burnham-Snyder.

When your incoming boss asks you for basic information relevant to the performance of your job, you provide an unqualified answer. You serve at their pleasure, and not due to some entitlement. Apparently, Burnham-Snyder and those Department of Energy employees he represents believe they can do whatever they want without consequence.

The solution here is quite simple. Fire everyone. An organization called the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a statement claiming the Trump team’s request for names “smacks of McCarthyism.” Let’s roll with that. Fire everyone. Whatever these people do, I’m sure we can find others willing to assume their responsibilities while dutifully complying with their elected boss.