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Interior Department Reviewing Heartland Institute 'Payments' To Government Scientist

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Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) called for Congress to investigate the apparent payments to Goklany in a letter to Republican Rep. Doc Hastings (R-VA), who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee and Democrat Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), the ranking member of the committee. Grijalva said that federal employees aren't supposed to accept payments from outside groups for "teaching, speaking and writing that relates to [their] official duties" (5 C.F.R. § Part 2635 is the regulation which speaks to this issue).

"We do not know whether Dr. Goklany received the money he was apparently promised by the Heartland Institute," Grijalva wrote in the letter. "Nor do we know whether other Interior Department employees have been offered, or accepted, similar arrangements with other organizations that seek to influence federal policy."

Grijalva continued:

For that matter, we do not know what confidential information Dr. Goklany may have shared with Heartland officials in the course of negotiating his payment agreements. These questions need answers, and our Committee has a unique responsibility to find those answers.

Interior Department spokesman Adam Fetcher told TPM the agency was "reviewing the matter," but declined further comment. Goklany did not respond to an email seeking comment.