Despite being widely denounced by scientists, an article published in the British tabloid the Daily Mail was used as the basis for an attack on the Environmental Protection Agency in a hearing Tuesday. In a hearing entitled "Make the EPA Great Again," U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, the chairman of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, cited the article that claimed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration falsified evidence to advance a climate change agenda.

Smith, who has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the oil and gas industry, held the hearing to examine the EPA’s “process for evaluating and using science during its regulatory decision-making activities.” Despite the fact that the NOAA and the EPA are two entirely different entities, Smith pointed to the Daily Mail article as evidence.

The article, written by journalist David Rose, who has been criticized for getting climate science wrong in the past, quoted a former NOAA scientist whistleblower, Dr. John Bates, who claimed that the organization "breached its own rules on scientific integrity" by manipulating data in a study. The landmark study in question found that a slowdown in global warming, previously thought to have occurred, never existed and that rates of climate change were rising much faster than previously anticipated.

Rose's story alleged that the study's "unverified data" was "sensational but flawed" and "aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015." The Paris Agreement pledged to reduce carbon emissions worldwide in order to limit the rise in global temperatures.

“Dr. Bates’ revelations and NOAA’s obstruction certainly lend credence to what I’ve expected all along – that the Karl study used flawed data, was rushed to publication in an effort to support the president’s climate change agenda and ignored NOAA’s own standards for scientific study,” said Smith. He went on to thank Bates “for exposing the previous administration’s efforts to push their costly climate agenda at the expense of scientific integrity" and called for the redaction of the NOAA study.

However, Bates himself went out of his way to correct the Daily Mail article.

“The issue here is not an issue of tampering with data, but rather really of timing of a release of a paper that had not properly disclosed everything it was,” Bates told E&E news, according to the New York Times.

Whether any procedural problems occurred at NOAA, the conclusions of the paper in question were defended and verified by other independent studies. 

GettyImages-164048006 Rep. Lamar Smith holds up a copy of TIME Magazine during a hearing in Washington, D.C., Mar. 19, 2013. Photo: Getty