Environment, Energy & Climate Change
The Environment, Energy & Climate Change program is designed to protect whistleblowers and support accountability in the environmental realm, emphasizing the deeply intertwined nature of environmental protection, energy production, and global climate change. While we focus considerable attention on environmental impacts related to the production, transportation, and consumption of fossil fuels – particularly as it relates to climate impacts – discreet topics like chemical pollution and nuclear safety are also well within our purview. We pay close attention to the interconnectivity among energy, climate, and the environment.
We provide effective, results-oriented legal representation to those with the courage to stand up to unlawful and unethical behavior in the public or private sector. Our clients have included government employees, corporate whistleblowers, and private citizens empowered to expose threats to environment and public health. The current patchwork of whistleblower laws offers varying degrees of protection and requires expertise to navigate.
The EE&CC team often works in collaboration with other Government Accountability Project programs, such as National Security, Education, Public Health, our International program, and our Food Integrity Campaign (FIC). We bring expertise in environmental law and policy to cross-cutting topics, from chemical pollution to climate impacts. Climate Science & Policy Watch (CSPW) – our flagship initiative founded in 2005 by federal whistleblower Rick Piltz – holds public officials accountable for responsibly using climate science research in policymaking with integrity. Through this variety of partners, allies, and colleagues, we are able to address a broad spectrum of issues where environment and accountability intersect.
We are built to be flexible, timely, and capable of handling whistleblower cases relating to a broad spectrum of topics and issue areas. Our cases deal with whistleblower disclosures revealing waste, fraud, or abuse of power or resources, or wrongdoing resulting in threats to human health or the environment. We also explore topics where accountability and transparency issues intersect with environmental impacts where whistleblower disclosures may serve to provide effective oversight that is otherwise lacking.
Our areas of focus include:
- Nuclear Safety
- Offshore Oil Drilling
- Major Oil Spills and Oil Spill Response
- Oil and Gas Pipelines and Fracking
- Breaches of Scientific Integrity
- Rejection of Scientific Findings in Policymaking
- Retaliatory Actions Against Climate Scientists
Whistleblowers play an essential role in the environmental movement and in shaping public policy and corporate practices.
Speaking Up for Science: A Guide to Whistleblowing for Federal Employees and Contractors (2018)
Science whistleblowers have historically functioned as one of the most powerful vehicles for exposing environmental, health, and safety risks, research censorship, gross mismanagement, and other abuses that undermine the missions of federal agencies to protect the public interest. This free guide seeks to empower and protect federal employees of conscience by offering guidance about their legal rights to blow the whistle and practical advice for making disclosures about wrongdoing in the safest and most effective ways possible.
Protecting Science at Federal Agencies: How Congress Can Help (2018)
This report was developed by a coalition of prominent watchdog and advocacy groups – including Government Accountability Project – and chronicles a litany of recent attacks on federal science and scientists by Trump administration officials intent on undermining the critical regulatory role government plays in safeguarding public health and safety.
Promoting and Sustaining the National Climate Assessment After a Period of Suppression and Political Influence (2016)
This report analyzes the suppression of the first National Climate Assessment during the George W. Bush administration. By detailing how officials systematically censored sensitive climate change information, it presents a strong case for supporting and defending the USGCRP and the climate change impacts assessment process.
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster was the largest U.S. oil spill in history. Evidence, including accounts from dozens of impacted residents and volunteer cleanup workers, suggests that cleanup efforts were more destructive to human health and the environment than the spill itself.
Our initial report from 2013 has led to two follow-up reports, through which it can be seen that the human and environmental health impacts associated with oil and chemical dispersants from the disaster are ongoing:
Looking Back at the Past to Protect the Future: Lessons from Meltdown: Three Mile Island
Looking Back at the Past to Protect the Future: Lessons from Meltdown: Three Mile Island Temperatures in Waco, Texas hit 108 degrees Fahrenheit this year, shattering the previous record of 104 degrees reached in 1917, 1935 and 1978. This case is not an isolated event; in fact, 92 all-time U.S. record high temperatures were set through July 16th with about 100 million people across more than 24 states under heat alerts. The frequency and [...]
Nuclear Whistleblowers Protected the Public from Disaster. Now We Must Protect their Right to Speak Up.
Nuclear Whistleblowers Protected the Public from Disaster. Now We Must Protect their Right to Speak Up. A new Netflix documentary released this spring, Meltdown: Three Mile Island, traced how brazen nuclear safety violations in the Three Mile Island (TMI) cleanup threatened a full meltdown that would’ve taken out the East Coast. It was prevented only because the top three engineers leading the cleanup process blew the whistle. Their story illustrates how freedom of speech can [...]
Press Release: U.S. Special Counsel Findings Vindicate Government Accountability Project Client Kevin Chmielewski, whose whistleblowing exposed Scott Pruitt’s corruption
For Immediate Release: May 27, 2022 U.S. Special Counsel Findings Vindicate Government Accountability Project Client Kevin Chmielewski, Whose Whistleblowing Exposed Scott Pruitt’s Corruption WASHINGTON – Scott Pruitt, former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and current candidate for the United States Senate, resigned from his position in July 2018 after a flurry of whistleblower disclosures, media coverage, and federal and Congressional investigations scrutinized a plethora of allegations detailing his abuses of authority and [...]
Press Statement: Netflix Releases “Meltdown: Three Mile Island” Docuseries
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 4, 2022 Netflix Releases “Meltdown: Three Mile Island” Docuseries New docuseries Covers government accountability project client Rick Parks who blew the whistle on near nuclear disaster. WASHINGTON – Today, Netflix released the four-part documentary series “Meltdown: Three Mile Island” about the worst nuclear accident in U.S. history and the prominent role played by Government Accountability Project’s whistleblower-client and former investigator, Rick Parks, in preventing a cataclysmic release of radioactivity and [...]