Trump's Inquisition: Science Under Fire

The "witch hunt" is on. On Friday, the Associated Press revealed the Trump Transition Team had issued a 74-question list to Energy Department officials, asking them to identify employees that had worked on fighting climate change. The questionnaire immediately raised concerns that Team Trump is trying to target DOE employees—including civil servants—who helped move the ball under Obama. 

The questionnaire goes as far as to ask for "all of the publications written by employees at the department's 17 national laboratories for the past three years," and for a list of names of those who worked on the international climate pact. While it's unclear what the Transition Team intends to do with this information, the answers to the questionnaire would make it much easier for an administration that is hostile to clean energy initiatives to weed out dissenters. 

These developments are troubling, to say the least. The week began with headlines about Trump's invitations to Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio, but it has ended on a particularly sour note for environmentalists with today's developments and Wednesday's announcement that Trump would pick Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator. 

Unfortunately,Trump's picks for head of the Energy Department aren't much more promising, as was reported by Reuters

Contenders to head the Energy Department under Trump include Kevin Cramer, a Republican U.S. representative from oil producing North Dakota, Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat from the same state, and Joe Manchin, a Democrat from coal-producing West Virginia.

It was a stressful week for environmentalists. Will Trump turn the corner before his January 20th inauguration and make good on his promise of an "open mind" toward climate change? Time will tell.