Wanger was angered by testimony from the two scientists, Frederick V. Feyrer and Jennifer M. Norris, that he said was "false," "contradictory" and "misleading." He accused the Interior Department of "bad faith" in providing the two scientists as experts, and claimed their testimony was "an attempt to mislead and to deceive the court into accepting not only what is not the best science, it's not science." An Interior Department spokesman defended Norris and Feyrer, telling the New York Times that "we stand behind the consistent and thorough findings by our scientists on these matters and their dedicated use of the best available science."
Wanger and the Interior Department scientists cannot both be right. The judge's assessment of their testimony and his conclusion about the agency's conduct in the case raise profoundly serious questions about the integrity and honesty of all the federal officials involved in the delta smelt case. And if the judge is correct in that case, taxpayers should be wondering whether other government scientists have given impeachable testimony on behalf of questionable federal environmental policies.
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., who represents a large portion of the Central Valley, is right to call for a congressional investigation "into the actions of Secretary Salazar and others at Interior in relation to California water policy. The recent U.S. District Court ruling, citing illegal actions and abuse of power on the part of Interior, must be addressed."
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