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Press Briefing by Scott McClellan
The James S. Brady Briefing Room

second question, please. The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, has been accusing the United States of intervening in the Venezuela political process, which he says should be an internal affair. What does the White House --

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry, repeat that first part.

Q The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, has been accusing the United States of intervening in the Venezuelan political process, saying it should be an internal affair.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we've talked about the importance of supporting democratic reforms, and that's the President's -- that's the President's views.

Q Scott, a group of prominent scientists, including some university presidents and Nobel laureates, signed a letter today complaining that the White House has systematically skewed science to fit its policy agendas. In particular, they accuse the administration of stacking federal advisory panels and suppressing EPA studies that don't agree with policy objectives. Have you seen the letter, and can you respond --

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I haven't, but I can assure you that this is an administration that makes decisions based on the best available science. And I would point to what we are doing in terms of the President's Clear Skies initiative as a prime example. We've seen the success from the acid rain program of this market-based approach. And the President has put forward a Clear Skies initiative to cut power plant emissions by 70 percent. And that's an initiative that is based on the best available science. And that's what we do with all our policies in this realm.

And I would point out to you that as an example of how strongly we believe in making decisions based on the best available science, this administration has worked on an independent peer review process to look at how science is used in regulatory decisions. That is something our Office of Management and Budget has been working on, so that we can make sure that those decisions are being made based on the best available science.

Thank you.

END 1:08 P.M. EST

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/02/20040218-9.html#16

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