At least one Interior Department official cited research funded by oil and coal groups to argue against climate change, according to newly released emails from the department and reviewed by HuffPost.
The official also cited a commentary website as evidence of scientific findings.
The internal emails were released after a Freedom of Information Act request by ex-agency scientist Joel Clement.
Science and technology policy analyst Indur Goklany cited a study by CO2Science, which had a selective finding that some plankton communities could benefit from higher levels of carbon dioxide.
CO2Science is short for the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, a think tank funded by oil groups, HuffPost reported.
Goklany also shot down a New York Times report about the impact of climate change on Guam in an email to the assistant secretary at the Interior Department who oversees Guam.
He wrote that the data “doesn’t show any acceleration in sea level rise due to man-made global warming or whatever,” and linked to an article written by a known climate change denier that refutes the effects of climate change in Guam.
Goklany has said that “fossil fuels have made the world much environmentally sustainable,” speaking at Heartland Institute’s 12th International Conference on Climate Change in Washington, D.C. He also said that habitat isn’t being lost, only “converted.”
The Department of Interior did not immediately return The Hill’s request for comment.
The newly released emails come as the Trump administration is under scrutiny for its approach to climate change.
EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has rolled back several regulations aimed at preventing climate change, and has questioned whether humans are the leading force in causing it.