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Pingree Invites Trump Interior Department Whistleblower to State of the Union

Washington, DC, February 4, 2019

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) has invited Joel Clement, a Maine-native and former Department of Interior official who has spoken out against the Trump administration’s attempts to suppress climate science, as her guest to this year’s State of the Union.

“I’m privileged to have climate change scientist and Mainer Joel Clement as my guest to this year’s State of the Union. The new Congress has made it clear that it is making climate change a top priority. Joel has emerged as a powerful and courageous voice on this issue ever since the Trump Administration retaliated against him for speaking up about how climate change is harming our communities,” Pingree said. “As the House pushes policy solutions to address  climate change, we will also be using our powers to investigate how the Administration has censored climate change science at federal agencies. Since the Administration wants to stifle expert voices like Joel’s—something it does at the country’s peril—we stand ready to give them a pulpit.” 

Pingree is Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment, which oversees funding for the Department of the Interior, the EPA and other agencies.

About Joel Clement

Joel Clement is a Maine native and Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School with a background in climate and energy issues, resilience and climate change adaptation, landscape-scale conservation and management, and Arctic social-ecological systems. Prior to joining the Kennedy School, Clement worked for seven years at the US Department of the Interior, serving as director of the Office of Policy Analysis, where he examined the effects of climate change on native Alaskan communities.  

After publicly speaking out against climate change, Clement was reassigned at the Department of Interior to an unrelated position. In July 2017, he became the first public whistleblower of the Trump Administration, accusing then-Secretary Ryan Zinke for retaliation, stifling science, ignoring climate change, wasting taxpayer dollars, and risking the health and safety of Americans in the Arctic. Since leaving the department, he has received multiple awards for ethics, courage, and his dedication to the role of science in public policy. 

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