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By Tim Pearce

Former director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the Department of the Interior (DOI) Joel Clement claimed President Donald Trump is reassigning him to an accounting position for speaking “truth to power” on the dangers of climate change.

Clement said he’s blowing the whistle on the Trump administration in a Wednesday op-ed in the Washington Post.

“Removing a civil servant from his area of expertise and putting him in a job where he’s not needed and his experience is not relevant is a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars.” Clement wrote. “Much more distressing, though, is what this charade means for American livelihoods. The Alaska Native villages of Kivalina, Shishmaref and Shaktoolik are perilously close to melting into the Arctic Ocean.”

Clement served in the Senior Executive Service (SES) helping vulnerable Alaskan communities prepare for the effects of climate change before his reassignment.

While Clement recognizes the administration’s right to implement policies and organize the executive branch to best serve the needs of the president, Clement believes his removal was a direct result of standing up for Alaskan communities.

“I believe I was retaliated against for speaking out publicly about the dangers that climate change poses to Alaska Native communities,” Clement said. “Eliminating my role coordinating federal engagement and leaving my former position empty exacerbate the already significant threat to the health and the safety of certain Alaska Native communities.”

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said in a Thursday Senate committee hearing that the DOI would be using a “combination of attrition, reassignments, and separation incentives” to cut staff in order to meet budget goals for 2018.

An executive order to reorganize department staff caused Clement’s move. The SES’s purpose to certify the executive branch is “responsive to the needs, policies, and goals of the Nation,” Interior Spokeswoman Heather Swift told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an email.

“Senior executives are the highest paid employees in the federal government and signed up for the SES knowing that they could be called upon to work in different positions at any time,” Swift said. “Congress meant for the SES to be a mobile force that are capable of taking on different assignments to meet the needs of the agency.”

Clement’s allegations are expected to be addressed during a Thursday Senate hearing for nominees to the Department of Energy and DOI, Axios reports.

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  • Jean Kutzer

    Let’s assume for the moment that the threat is real. These folks have been dealing with this problem on their own with no help from the Wizard(government) for thousands of years. Following the ice in either direction is how they got there. Their solution? They move! The only value you have to them is entertainment. I have had family from soe of those villages so I get to hear firsthand some of their responses. First, when a state agent shows up a welcoming committee is there to greet him or her into the village and back to the plane. All.very well armed mind you. You see they don’t trust you. Not just you but every government agent. You lack credibility with them. All agents. Something about their history with folks like you who come into their homes, gake their children and chain them to a desk and ram propaganda down their throats. Of course the parents don’t know because they can’t understand English and the kids are forbidden to speak or learn their own language. Yes people, this really did happen. Washington D.C. Could vanish forever and these people would never know or care. Maybe fewer smiles but hey, that’s what comedy central is for.

  • Sheepdog Smokey

    Where was he when the EPA was telling Alaskans not to burn wood during winter, then fining them for doing that? You can’t use gas or anything but wood during an Alaskan winter, yet the EPA said don’t, meaning they fined people for CHOOSING NOT TO DIE! Where was this guy then?