Washington, July 9 : An official attached with U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's office has been accused of editing out six pages from a global warming-related testimony given by Julie L. Gerberding, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a letter to Senator Barbara Boxer (Democrat-California), former Environment Protection Agency (EPA) deputy associate administrator Jason K. Burnett said Gerberding had planned to say that the "CDC considers climate change a serious public health concern."
Boxer, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said the administration sought the changes for fear that Gerberding's testimony could trigger new controls under the Clean Air Act that would regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from burning fossil fuels.
The White House has opposed mandatory limits and has insisted that voluntary measures and increased research are the best ways to address the issue.
Several media outlets, including The Washington Post, reported at the time of Gerberding's testimony that the administration had revised her proposed remarks. White House officials justified the changes by citing doubts about the scientific basis of her testimony.
Burnett -- a grandson of high-tech entrepreneur David Packard and a member of the Packard Foundation's board of trustees -- has given more than 9,000 to Democratic campaigns in recent years, including ,600 to presidential candidate Barack Obama (Ill.). He did not identify who in the vice president's office had called him.
Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride declined to discuss Burnett's allegations, saying, "We don't comment on internal deliberations."