U.S. Geological Survey headquarters in Virginia. Photo by Don Becker for the USGS

California’s two senators expressed concern Monday over reports that the U.S. Geological Survey is being told not to consider the long-term effects of climate change.

Sens. Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein joined 20 other senators in sending a letter to USGS Director James Reilly about reports that the earthquake-monitoring agency will only use computer models that project the effects of climate change through 2040.

The agency has historically used models that estimate the impact of climate change through the end of the century.

“This decision appears to be another in a long line of politically-oriented moves within the Department of the Interior, and more broadly across this administration, to suppress climate change science,” the senators wrote.

The letter comes barely a week after California experienced its biggest earthquake in two decades.

The senators cited reports by The New York Times and Los Angeles Times about the new restrictions placed on USGS scientists.

“Hiding this information from the American public not only paralyzes the ability to execute informed decision-making today to reduce future emissions impacts, but would be further compounded by the administration’s intent to leave the ‘worst case scenario’ out of future assessments,” the senators wrote.

They said local and state government depend on accurate data from the USGS to make important planning decisions.

Show comments

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.