By HARVEY RICE, HOUSTON CHRONICLE
Photo: Melissa Phillip / © 2011 Houston Chronicle
John Anderson, an oceanography at Rice, says the state agency deleted all references to climate change and sea-level rise on his Galveston Bay report: "it's all politics."
GALVESTON - A Rice University oceanographer said he accepts a decision by the state's environmental agency to kill an article he wrote on sea-level rise in Galveston Bay, ending a standoff over the article's references to rising sea levels and human-caused environmental change.
"I'm willing to live with not having it published," John Anderson said Tuesday. "I refuse to have it published with their deletions."
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said late Monday it will remove Anderson's article on sea-level rise in Galveston Bay from a collection of 10 articles written for The State of the Bay, a periodical publication of the Galveston Bay Estuary Program.
TCEQ, which had contracted with the Houston Advanced Research Center to produce the report, decided to discard the article after Anderson refused to agree to a number of deletions, dealing with climate change, sea-level rise and human-caused changes to the environment.
An agency spokeswoman gave no reason for the deletions but said the agency disagreed with portions of Anderson's work.
Anderson said the article is based upon a 10-year, peer-reviewed study with other scientists. It was published by the Geological Society of America.
Anderson accused TCEQ of making the changes for political reasons.
"With those deletions, it does not represent true science," he said. "They are choosing their side here, and that is to refuse to accept scientific input."
Two scientists at the Houston Advanced Research Center backed Anderson. The center has a contract with TCEQ, valued at less than $100,000, to publish The State of the Bay.
Research Center Vice President Jim Lester and scientist Lisa Gonzalez, co-editors for the project, had informed TCEQ they did not want their names associated with the TCEQ version, fearing it would hurt their credibility as scientists.