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Greenpeace Flags Potential Conflict of Interest at DOE, DOI Greenpeace Flags Potential Conflict of Interest at DOE, DOI

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Greenpeace Flags Potential Conflict of Interest at DOE, DOI

The environmental organization Greenpeace has asked the Departments of Energy and Interior to investigate why a proposed budget from a group that challenges climate science includes payments to advisors at the agencies.

In letters to the agencies, Greenpeace says that recently leaked documents from the Heartland Institute show that David Wojick, a contractor who has consulted at DOE, and Indur Goklany, an advisor at DOI, were slotted to receive thousands of dollars from Heartland, which Greenpeace alleges may be illegal.

"We find it alarming that a federal employee at DOI may be taking money from the Heartland Institute," Greenpeace wrote in its letter to DOI. "Federal regulations guard against such attempts at influence."

Greenpeace, which sent the letters to the agencies on Tuesday, also delivered copies to members of Congress Wednesday. In response, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) called for a full House Natural Resources Committee hearing to investigate the relationship between Heartland and Goklany.

"We do not know whether Dr. Goklany received the money he was apparently promised by the Heartland Institute," Grijalva wrote in a letter to Reps. Doc Hastings and Ed Markey, the chair and ranking member of the committee. "Nor do we know whether other Interior Department employees have been offered, or accepted, similar arrangements with other organizations that seek to influence federal policy. For that matter, we do not know what confidential information Dr. Goklany may have shared with Heartland officials in the course of negotiating his payment agreements. These questions need answers, and our committee has a unique responsibility to find those answers."

An Interior Department spokesman told Talking Points Memo yesterday that the department is looking into the issue. And an Energy Department spokeswoman told the Associated Press last week that climate change was not part of Wojick's work at the department.

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