comscore Energy Department refuses to provide names to Trump team | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Energy Department refuses to provide names to Trump team

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    President-elect Donald Trump arrived at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, Dec. 9, in Baton Rouge, La., to attend a rally.

WASHINGTON >> The Energy Department said today it won’t provide the names of staffers who worked on climate policy or other issues to President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, even as it pledges to cooperate with the incoming administration.

Trump’s transition team is seeking information about the agency’s operations and personnel, including a list of employees and contractors who attended international meetings on climate change over the past five years.

An Energy Department spokesman said that while officials will be forthcoming with all publicly available information, “we will not be providing any individual names to the transition team.”

Some of the questions asked by Trump’s team left DOE workers “unsettled,” spokesman Eben Burnham-Snyder said, adding that DOE officials “respect the professional and scientific integrity and independence of our employees at our labs and across our department.”

Trump’s transition team submitted 74 questions to DOE last week, including two that asked for identities of staffers who worked on Obama administration climate policy efforts.

One Energy Department official called the 74 questions a hit list and said Trump’s team appeared to be going after top scientists and employees who work on subjects ranging from the Iran nuclear deal to the internal operations of the national energy labs. The official was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity to discuss the document.

The official said questions about professional society memberships and websites that staff at the Energy Department’s national laboratories maintain or contribute to could raise questions about Trump’s commitment to scientific independence — a fundamental tenet at the agency.

The Energy Department has a $32 billion annual budget, yet the bulk of its workforce — nearly 100,000 employees — comes from private contractors. The agency has 14,000 government employees.

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

Democrats have called the questionnaire a modern-day political witch hunt that could have a chilling impact on federal workers.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature
Comments (129)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

  • Why isn’t O cooporating? What is O hiding from the Americans? Wasn’t TRANSPARENCY one of his campaign promises?
    O is the WORST potus in American history.

    January 20, 2017 #MAGA

      • @ kuroiwaj
        ^5
        VA ..another really really difficult job…
        Really impressed & awesome to watch P.E. assembling his TEAM TRUMP!

        January 20, 2017 can’t come soon enough! #MAGA

      • IRT kuroiwaj: Totally agree, but it will be very tough because it is in such bad shape ( organizationally) that it will take more than replacing the “Head of the VA” (or a few key positions, which has been already tried with no real impact), but rather changing the organization at every level. Any business person with experience could walk through the organization and in 1 day make an obvious list of changes that should occur. It would be overwhelming. The VA is highly unionized, so you know they’ll fight any changes whatsoever. To start, the mission of the VA should be redefined. It will be interesting to see how Trump deals with it. He’ll be in for a big surprise when comparing the VA to one of his projects.

        • IRT CaJayBird, it may become similar to the Air Controllers. President elect Trump has already established the objective, “To rebuilds our military by eliminating the defense sequester and expanding military investment; provides Veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend the private doctor of their choice; protects our vital infrastructure from cyber-attack; establishes new screening procedures for immigration to ensure those who are admitted to our country support our people and our values.”

    • I hope that it becomes a witch hunt to the nines!!!!! Drag it all out in public and make it very transparent. If anything was fudged to make it biased research then make that very public–very transparent. The rule should be to trust but also to validate the integrity of research.

      The Obama legacy was not very good. Trump will erase 1/2 of the damage done by Obama in about 3 hours. Another 25% of the damage will be undone when Obamacare is repealed.

    • What is Trump hiding in his Tax Returns? A lucrative deal with Putin? Trump want to gut the Energy Department and get rid of the scientists who believe climate change is real, so Tillerson and Exxon Mobil have free reign to increase their oil and gas business with Putin’s Russia, increase oil prices, make even larger profits, at the expense of everyone and the health of our planet.

    • Trump is not a legitimate president as we now know and his pick for energy secretary is an intellectual embarrassment and a joke even to himself. We need to resist Trump and then dump him in 4 years.

      • What, the names can be had from other sources so it’s just posturing to say the list won’t be provided. To compare the trumpster to the gestapo is ridiculous to the extant the person doing so has no idea what the Nazi party was all about. They didn’t ask. Study the Seven Sisters to get up to speed on why oil and gas guys are being given power instead of the same old environmental guys. The former drive the economy of the world, the latter drive electric cars. Oil and gas is te key to how the trumpster is going to bring back the economy and kill off the islamic fighters and terrorists.

      • Aiyaiyai , just because he isn’t part of the snake team in the swamp you want to call him illegitimate?
        All the laws broken by the outbound politicos and you can’t see how they betrayed America at all levels ?

        This man will build , not take. You will see and wish you hadn’t jumped into the swirl of crazies once you see the truth , so relax girl , good times are coming even for those who are blind.

        • Right. How crazy was it for leftwingnuts to get so bent out of shape musing that Trump might not accept the results of the election. They lose and they are nothing but rejecting the results. Dishonest. Hypocritical. Un-American.

      • Not legitimate? How so? Please, enlighten us instead of spouting whining liberal talking heads. Your refusal to accept the Hillary’s defeat is very, very telling. For your own sake, please grow up and stop embarrassing yourself.

    • Where is Trump’s transparency. He will not release his tax returns. Makes on vague promises. His business empire a big secret. Lies and distortions, conspiracy theories, all in multiple twitter posts. His kids running his business empire while he is in office, while he will be running them. NEPOTISM at its most insidious and corrupt. We will have four years of backroom and under the table deals, with Putin, Russia, and whoever is part of Trump’s Empire, and of course four years of obfuscation and SECRECY.

      • As opposed to what obama has done for the last 8 years? You know, his actions may not have been so bad had he not boasted about how great, transparent, fair he claimed he would be. You project things that MIGHT happen under a Trump presidency, yet you conveniently forget how obama has not only screwed this country with his ineptitude, he has bullied his political enemies while lying through his teeth. And you’re okay with that. Is it any wonder you liberals have lost all semblance of credibility?

    • I love this. Fire the Dept of Energy, fire the CIA, fire everyone else who refuses to work with the administration of amateurs and things will fall apart. Who better to bring governmental bankruptcy upon the country than the master of bankruptcy himself, Trump.

      • The Trumpers view on FIRE them all if they don’t cooperate seems to come from what THEY viewed Obamas response to objectors during his reign and they are just returning the favor. Will the Democrats also return the favor to Trump and DRAG their feet as THEY perceived the Republicans did during Obamas reign…#MAGA

      • Trump is a businessman. When take over a business, current employees either follow the new management’s direction or quit. Why management keep someone who won’t do what they’re told.

        • Adding gas and oil, Wall Street, and corporate billionaires to Washington, sure does not appear like draining the swamp, seems like Trump is stocking it with more alligators and crocodiles

        • Trump is doing great. The crickets are still chirping. Can’t handle the truth. Where oh where is HiLIARy? Lock her up.

      • No , fire the pseudo scientists who are just padding their grant potential and get real science moving. Why live a lie ? If they got nothing to hide they don’t need to hide. Simple. No more mooching off the taxpayer by kissing A of other living moochers.

        • You guys must love Putin and the KGB’s hacking of our government, as they undermine all our democratic institutions with the help of Trump and his team cozying up to Russia and other tyrants. Trump has high regard for “Strongman” Putin, but conveniently forgets that Putin has invaded the Ukraine, annexed Crimea, joined Assad in Syria to bomb and kill up to more than 300 million people. Guess Trump wants to emulate Putin and become a tyrant and dictator. Putin’s Russia, has no civil liberties, no free press or speech, and its an economic basket case, with its currency devalued to less than half of what it was before the US and European allies imposed sanctions on Russia for annexing Crimea.

    • when it comes to federal government work, the president is entitled to know the progress of each federally funded program and the names of those who collect federal paychecks for their work on each federal program.

      as president elect, perhaps trump’s inquiries don’t deserve to be answered at this point by the energy department. not to worry.

      scientists and educators should be proud to have their names attached to the programs they’ve been working on the last eight years. especially the advocates for lower carbon footprints who are frequent travelers to foreign countries global warming conferences.

      trump can wait until january 20, 2017 to begin his review of each program within the energy department and assessment of program leaders and investigators.

  • A better question is what do tax payers get the Energy Department of $32 billion annual budget? It sounds like the bulk of its budget is spent on — private contractors.

    • The question is do you think it will change with Trump President? Do you view that $32 billion budget and your PERCEIVED lack of return exclusive to Obamas reign or is it more or less par for Presdents?

    • I agree with what you’re saying. Like billions spent on contractors Lockheed Martin, Boeing, EEG and the list goes on and on..all these guys are just raking it in. Trump knows exactl6 what these guys are doing.

    • Are we talking about the ex-Solandra employees now entrenched in the Department who refuse to co-operate? Something smells when entrenched civil servants do not follow their superiors orders. Refuse to comply, cut-out funding and then heads will have to roll?

  • So who is that spokesman?

    Oh this is going to get interesting. Sounds like a toddler telling mommy & daddy “NO!” before getting a spanking on the okole.

  • Just wait till Trump takes office. No matter your political view he is their boss. The media would have been all over this if Obama was refused information when he took office. Of course if that happened it would have been racist but because its Trump the poor bloated DOE is unsettled. Another bunch of snowflakes. Get used to it, there is a new commander in chief and he follows through. #MAGA

      • I just headed you off at the pass,, and you.know it. I don’t see any lawsbroken. Any boss wants to know if their staff is going to adhere to the orders of their hiss. Why is this so different than the private sector? If I told my boss “I’m not answering your questions, then I sure expect to be FIRED.

  • Sounds like insubordination to me. The Donald was voted in to drain the swamp so let it begin. I have little doubt that this agency is stacked with workers who supported Obama’s view of the world. If they haven’t heard already, Obama is out, Hillary lost, it’s time for change.

    • I hope the PE sticks to his guns on draining the DC swamp. There are a lot of ticks embedded in the fur of Washington. He needs to go through them one by one to include State, DoE, BLM, DoJ, IRS, EPA, DoED, and HUD among others. Barry Hussein politicized these agencies by installing political hacks instead of experienced executives. As a result you got Fast and Furious, IRS administrators stonewalling conservative groups and taking the 5th to avoid accountability, EPA overreach on private property rights, BLM bullying hard working ranchers, open support of violent groups like Black Lives Matter, politicization of public schools, Waldo Clinton abusing her position to enrich the Clinton Crime Family, VA administrators feathering their nests instead of looking out for veterans, the ruinous Obamacare and job killing climate regulation just to name a few.

      • On the veterans thing, he already said, like in the McCain POW,” “We in trump land do not treat POW as hero. He’s not a hero, he got caught. We dont like that”.So good luck VA.

      • McCain is respected for his time as a veteran/pow but still a life long politician so he needs to go to. Finally getting some real movers and shakers like The Patron Saint Of Chaos General Mad Dog Mattis and another former marine Gen John Kelly. Lets see how much posturing Iran does now.

  • When Obama got elected back in 2008 his first move was to appoint 16 Czars to each Department to ensure that his order would be carried out. These entrenched Czars may have converted to high civil service positions since their former jobs were appointments? Trump could do the same to ram-rod his programs.

  • the department of energy has chosen not to respond to the president elect. it is their right as he is not the president.

    however, all patronage appointees currently employed in the department of energy should already be mailing out their resume for future employers to review.

    civil servants within the department will not be affected.

    the e.p.a. may have regulations against draining the d.c. swamp.

      • civil servants enjoy “career appointments” after serving a three year probationary period.

        civil servants can only be removed from their jobs for cause. they are also entitled to due process and an in-person hearing before they can be fired. most civil servants are also protected by unions who grieve every attempt at removing a civil servant from a job. the due process, series of hearings and the union protections can extend time lines of firings to years. trump will not fire civil servants at his whim.

        the only employees trump can remove without cause are patronage appointments who serve at the pleasure of the president. those employees within the energy department should already prepare their resumes.

  • No big deal with the Energy Department refusing to provide Trump’s transition team the information it requested. The Trump administration will get it all on or soon after 20 January followed by a house cleaning of Obama appointees and the cancellation of most private employee contracts. Thirty-two billion dollars annually is a lot of money for a department that is not a Federal responsibility under the Constitution. Don’t be surprised if it becomes a target for elimination by the Trump administration along with several other departments that perform functions, like education, that rightfully belong to the states under the Constitution.

      • Gotta’ agree with you on that one. Campaign funding flows from gov’t contractors to the very politicians who keep them in business. Nice arrangement for everybody but John Q. Taxpayer. We’ll see if it is business as usual with Trump at the helm.

        • IRT CEI: HISTORY BEING MADE!!!…I’ve just witnessed two people with normally opposing views come together in AGREEMENT…Politicians and Businessmen help each other while Taxpayers get the shaft…If we can get more people to join in and at least acknowledge that the OTHERSIDE isn’t Bat[redacted] crazy then America might have a chance…#MAGA

          “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike” Maya Angelou

  • Would he be entitled to those names once he actually becomes President? Possibly. But at this moment, he’s only Prez-in-Waiting and his demands can simply be ignored. He has no official standing yet — he’s nothing more than another loudmouthed public citizen.

  • This is your New Commander In Chief! Get Used to it!
    But really folks, is there something to HIDE? Something to hide like maybe another Solyndra,remember the Bukku Millions they took in Gov Grants and Subsidies and they went Bankrupt,without paying anything back! Tesla is another one! Without the government,they’re Nothing!

    I telling you, when President Trump gets a hold of all the Books of the different agencies and sees all the senseless spending which was done by this administration? Someone is gonna have to pay and someone will lose his or Her Job!

    You know back In Da Day? We had saying, if you refuse to take an order from your “Superiors”,this “Saying” was called…….. Insubordination. But there is another saying. To Fire A Government Employee,takes an Act of Congress. I say? Drain the Swamp!

    • The Commander in Chief relates only to the military – nothing and no one else.

      Do you ever know what you’re talking about? Ever? The correct answer is no. You are part of Trump’s Cult of Ignorance.

      • So the chief executive of the nation isn’t the boss of all these departments? Get a grip !
        The free ride all pau snowflakes. Time to grow up and deal with truth like an adult.

        Feel the current !

      • Klastri, stop playing your silly games. You know or should know that the President of the United States has two roles, one as Chief Executive of the US and the other as Commander in Chief of the armed forces. It does not matter what role he is playing at any particular time, he is still the President of the United States.

  • “bulk of its workforce — nearly 100,000 employees — comes from private contractors. The agency has 14,000 government employees.”

    Red Flag, Red Flag !!!

  • They WILL provide the requested info to the new Secretary of the DOE. By refusing to provide the answers now they risk making the situation worse. It is not for them to set policy or direction for the DOE, regardless of the “independent” status that exists only in their own minds. If Trump wants to oust those responsible for the Iran deal, it’s his right to do so.
    Public employees need a “chilling impact” once in awhile. All too often they’re not held accountable for substandard work performance. Just look at our city and state workers, many of them are too busy watching netflix to worry about the quality of their work product. They know it’s almost impossible to get fired from a civil service job.

    • Volunteer lawyers are coming forward all over the country to fight Trump and his pathetic minions at every turn. There aren’t enough judges or courthouses to hear the cases that will get filed. Everything possible will be done to throw sand into the gears of his gold-plated reign.

      You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about and know nothing about the civil service system. Like usual for you. Zero.

      • That is called obstructionism is it not. Poor spoiled little babies . Go ahead and wate your time. People who build will prevaile , happens every time. Those who tread water flow with the current right out of the swamp……………..heh heh heh ? How’s it feel ?

      • Sympathizers of global warming, of course if not on the band wagon, out! Private contractors can be easily taken care of, travel expense vouchers by civil servants can be examined and determined who were on the “gravy train” at the expense of the tax payers. Attendees to global meetings outside the country is easily tracked. Follow the money. Expenditures can be examined. Get a good auditor. He can ferret out the scoundrels!

  • By not cooperating with the request, the DOE staffers are committing insubordination, a behavior that justifies termination with cause. Staffers can do what they want, but the consequence should be immediate, the complete termination of employment and all the benefits that said employment accrues.

  • Just another unconstitutional, renegade, out of control Federal department that should be demoted from cabinet-level status, just like the Department of Education and significantly downsized. It’s functions could be moved to other Federal departments or eliminated altogether and we could actually save the Federal Government and ultimately the taxpayers a lot of money. Climatology should fall under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which is aligned under the Department of Commerce. I do hope Trump lives up to his word and purges NOAA and other Federal agencies of the climate change propagandists, since they have failed to prove that any apparent climate change is definitively manmade.

  • Typical obama administration obstructionism. Do you really think he doesn’t have his fingers in this? This arrogant narcissist is putting his personal agenda before the interests of the country that he supposedly leads (and I use that term very, very loosely). No surprise there. For 8 long years he has been aided and abetted by a Liberal and Compliant Media that unashamedly pushes his agenda. Shameful. Absolutely JUVENILE, as always, from the democrats.

Scroll Up