Aumua and House Natural Resources O&I Subcommittee Hold Hearing on Data Manipulation

December 6, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Tuesday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata, and the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations (O&I) held a hearing today entitled “Examining Decades of Data Manipulation at the United States Geological Survey” during which they interviewed U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Deputy Director William Werkheiser on several incidents of scientific misconduct at the Energy Resources Program (ERP) Geochemistry Laboratory in Lakewood, Colorado.

Congresswoman Amata addresses the witness during Tuesday’s hearing

“We rely on accurate scientific data in order to make informed policy and management decisions and it is inexcusable that any of this data was falsified and manipulated,” said Amata. “Frankly, I am shocked that something like this could happen for two decades. This not only harms the reputation of laboratories and facilities in Colorado, but potentially calls into question the scientific data and practices of the entire USGS,” continued Amata.

The Department of the Interior Inspector General and a Scientific Integrity Review Panel both found a chronic pattern of scientific misconduct and data manipulation at the facility dating back to 1996 which resulted in the closure of the Laboratory earlier this year.

“I want to thank Subcommittee Chairman Louie Gohmert for holding this important hearing today. It is our utmost priority at the O&I Subcommittee to continue to hold these agencies accountable for their actions and ensure that the information we base our policy decisions on, is both accurate and handled responsibly,” concluded Amata.


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