WASHINGTON Dec 13 The U.S. Energy Department
said on Tuesday it will not comply with a request from
President-elect Donald Trump's Energy Department transition team
for the names of people who have worked on climate change and
the professional society memberships of lab workers.
The response from the Energy Department could signal a rocky
transition for the president-elect's energy team and potential
friction between the new leadership and the staffers who remain
The memo sent to the Energy Department on Tuesday and
reviewed by Reuters last week contains 74 questions including a
request for a list of all department employees and contractors
who attended the annual global climate talks hosted by the
United Nations within the last five years.
Energy Department spokesman Eben Burnham-Snyder said Tuesday
the department will not comply.
"Our career workforce, including our contractors and
employees at our labs, comprise the backbone of (the Energy
Department) and the important work our department does to
benefit the American people," Burnham-Snyder said.
"We are going to respect the professional and scientific
integrity and independence of our employees at our labs and
across our department," he added. "We will be forthcoming with
all publicly available information with the transition team. We
will not be providing any individual names to the transition
He added that the request "left many in our workforce
Reuters reported late Monday that former Texas Governor Rick
Perry is expected to be named by Trump to run the Energy
Department. The agency employs more than 90,000 people working
on nuclear weapons maintenance and research labs, nuclear
energy, advanced renewable energy, batteries and climate
The memo sought a list of all department employees or
contractors who have attended any meetings on the social cost of
carbon, a measurement that federal agencies use to weigh the
costs and benefits of new energy and environment regulations. It
also asked for all publications written by employees at the
department's 17 national laboratories for the past three years.
Trump transition officials declined to comment on the memo.
"This feels like the first draft of an eventual political
enemies list," a Department of Energy employee, who asked not to
be identified because he feared a reprisal by the Trump
transition team, had told Reuters.
Republican Trump said during his election campaign that
climate change was a hoax perpetrated by China to damage U.S.
manufacturing. He said he would rip up last year's landmark
global climate deal struck in Paris that was signed by President
Since winning the Nov. 8 election, however, Trump has said
he will keep an "open mind" about the Paris deal. He also met
with former Vice President Al Gore, a strong advocate for action
on climate change.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)