Accused oil industry lobbyist leaves Bush team

Philip Cooney was accused of doctoring official papers on global warming, greenhouse gases

Gary Younge

NEW YORK: A former oil industry lobbyist accused of doctoring official U.S. policy papers on global warming to play down the link between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, has resigned.

Philip Cooney, who was chief of staff of the White House council on environmental quality, quit his job two days after a report released by a watchdog group, the Government accountability project, showed that he had deleted paragraphs and edited others drafted by Government scientists.

The White House said his departure was ``completely unrelated'' to last week's disclosure. ``Mr. Cooney has long been considering his options following four years of service to the administration,'' said White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino. ``He'd accumulated many weeks of leave and decided to resign and take the summer off to spend time with his family.''

Mr. Cooney, a lawyer with no background in science, previously worked for the American Petroleum Institute which lobbies for oil firms.

The Government accountability project, which was unavailable for comment on Sunday, revealed last week that Mr. Cooney had changed the documents in a way that would be more beneficial to the oil industry.

- Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005

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