President sued over climate change report

Published December 1, 2000

The Competitive Enterprise Institute announced on October 5 that it has filed suit against President William J. Clinton and Neal Lane, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology.

The suit challenges as unlawful on several counts the release of the National Assessment of Climate Change, alleging multiple violations of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the U.S. Global Change Research Act (USGCRA), Public Law 106-74.

“In President Clinton’s capacity as the chairman of the National Science and Technology Council, he is ultimately responsible for producing and maintaining the legal integrity of any documents or reports it releases,” explained attorney Christopher C. Horner.

Joining CEI as co-plaintiffs in the suite are Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Representatives Joseph Knollenberg (R-Michigan) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-Missouri), Consumer Alert, 60 Plus Association, The Heartland Institute, and David Wojick.

The lawsuit alleges and details the following violations:

  • holding unlawfully closed meetings and conducting meetings in the absence of the required Designated Federal Officer, in violation of FACA;
  • directing the National Science and Technology Council to unlawfully expand its work outside the scope of its applicable statutory authority under the USGCRA; and
  • spending appropriated money to release or publish the report prior to completing the underlying science, making findings available to all parties, and subjecting its work to peer review, in violation of Public Law 106-74.

As a remedy, plaintiffs have asked the court to declare the following actions unlawful under FACA, USGCRA, and Public Law 106-74:

  • utilizing any product of any Synthesis Team meeting conducted in violation of FACA;
  • utilizing any draft or final National Assessment until such time as the violations are remedied;
  • spending additional funds or taking any further action on the basis of any draft or final National Assessment until the violations are remedied;
  • releasing any document that addresses issues not specifically authorized by the USGCRA.

For more information

The full text of the lawsuit and statements by Senator Inhofe and others are available at CEI’s Web site at Or contact Emily McGee, director of media relations for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, at 202/331-1010.