Ex-Bush Aide Who Edited Climate Reports to Join ExxonMobil
The New York Times, Andrew C. Revkin, June 15, 2005
Philip A. Cooney, the White House staff member who repeatedly revised government scientific reports on global warming, will go to work for ExxonMobil in the fall, the oil company said today.
Mr. Cooney resigned on Friday as chief of staff to President Bush's environmental policy council, two days after documents obtained by The New York Times showed that he had edited the reports in ways that cast doubt on the link between greenhouse-gas emissions and rising temperatures.
A former lawyer and lobbyist with the American Petroleum Institute, the main lobbying group for the oil industry, Mr. Cooney has no scientific training.
The White House, which said Friday that there was no connection between last week's disclosure and Mr. Cooney's resignation, repeated today that Mr. Cooney's actions were part of the normal review process for documents on environmental issues involving many government agencies.
"Phil Cooney did a great job," said Dana Perino, a deputy White House spokeswoman, "and we appreciate his public service and the work that he did, and we wish him well in the private sector."
An Exxon spokesman, Tom Cirigliano, declined to describe Mr. Cooney's new job. Associates of Mr. Cooney said he planned to move to Dallas. Mr. Cooney did not return e-mail or phone messages.ExxonMobil has long financed advertising and lobbying efforts that question whether human-caused warming poses sufficiently serious risks to justify curbing
carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas emitted by smokestacks and tailpipes.
Today, Mr. Cirigliano said the oil company was committed to acting responsibly on the issue.
"ExxonMobil has taken, is taking, and will continue to take tangible actions to reduce emissions in our operations as well as in customer use of our products, and to better understand and prepare for the risks of climate change," he said.
Some climate scientists and environmental campaigners said Mr. Cooney's quick shift from the White House to Exxon was evidence of a near-seamless relationship between the Bush administration and the oil industry.
"Perhaps he won't even notice he has changed jobs," said David G. Hawkins, who directs the climate center at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a private environmental group.