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David Goldston, Director, Government Affairs, Washington, DC

David Goldston

David is the Director of Government Affairs for the Natural Resources Defense Council. In that role, he is responsible for NRDC's overall political strategy, bringing together NRDC's interactions with Congress, the Administration and, through the NRDC Action Fund, the public. He served as Chief of Staff of the House Committee on Science from 2001 through 2006, the culmination of more than 20 years on Capitol Hill working primarily on science policy and environmental policy.

After leaving Capitol Hill, David was a visiting lecturer at Princeton and Harvard, and a columnist for the journal Nature. He was also the project director for the Bipartisan Policy Center report "Improving the Use of Science in Regulatory Policy." He has served on several panels at the National Academy of Sciences.

David graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in history and completed the course work for a Ph.D. in American history at the University of Pennsylvania.

Recent Posts

Carbon Copy: Senate Report Trots Out Old and Baseless Charges

Posted August 5, 2015 by David Goldston

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Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), the chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and a proud and unrepentant climate denier, yesterday released a staff report accusing the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) of "colluding" with the Environmental...continued

Sound and Fury: NRDC E-Mails Show Advocacy, not Collusion

Posted December 10, 2014 by David Goldston

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On November 24th, NRDC turned over to Senator David Vitter (R-LA) and Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) about 450 e-mails they had sought in their investigation into interactions between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NRDC.  In launching their investigation in...continued

What Senators Talk About When They Talk About "Collusion"

Posted October 16, 2014 by David Goldston

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             Senator David Vitter (R-LA) has been periodically releasing e-mail exchanges between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NRDC in an effort to prove that we “colluded” in coming up with ways to reduce carbon pollution.  The most recent release was...continued

Democracy 101: Or, What Does David Vitter Want?

Posted September 4, 2014 by David Goldston

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On Tuesday, NRDC received an investigative letter from Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and four of their colleagues, demanding “all documents and communications” between NRDC and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on carbon emissions from existing power...continued

Don't be a Stooge: What's at stake in the Republican assault on environmental protection

Posted July 28, 2014 by David Goldston

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Congress’ departure from Washington for its annual August recess is a traditional time to take stock of what our legislators have been up to.  In recent years, this has too often degenerated into mere lampooning, obscuring how deadly in earnest...continued

SCRUB Act would rub out health and safety standards

Posted February 11, 2014 by David Goldston


In advance of today's House Judiciary Committee hearing on the SCRUB Act, I have submitted the letter below on behalf of NRDC:  Dear Chairman Bachus and Ranking Member Johnson, On behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council and its 1.4 million members and activists, I...continued

Poll Holds Warning for Tea Party Republicans: Don't Try This Again

Posted October 17, 2013 by David Goldston

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Over Columbus Day weekend, NRDC had the firm Public Policy Polling conduct a survey to find out how Americans were thinking about the government shutdown and particularly its environmental consequences.     The numbers from that poll should be a clear...continued

"Regulatory Accountability Act" would make it harder to safeguard the public.

Posted July 11, 2013 by David Goldston

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Here’s testimony I gave this week to a House Judiciary Subcommittee about the misguided “Regulatory Accountability Act”: Mr. Chairman, Mr. Cohen and Members of the Committee, Thank you for inviting me to testify today on H.R. 2122.             NRDC believes...continued

Rule or Ruse?: Transportation Bill Rule Can't Be Allowed To Disguise What's Actually Going On

Posted February 15, 2012 by David Goldston

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The House today will begin debating Speaker Boehner’s transportation package.  There are many ways to describe this legislation – a gallimaufry of bad ideas; a collection of the most extreme versions of proposals on the right wing’s wish list; an...continued

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Why NOAA Shouldn't Be Moved to the Interior Department

Posted January 15, 2012 by David Goldston

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There may be no subject that sounds more arcane, dreary and trivial than governmental reorganization.  “Just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic” is one popular line of dismissal.  But in reality, how the government is organized can have enormous,...continued

Senate Testimony: Why Senate Regulatory Proposals Would Do More Harm Than Good

Posted July 20, 2011 by David Goldston

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I delivered the following oral and written testimony today to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: Oral Testimony Mr. Chairman, Senator Collins and Members of the Committee, Thank you for inviting me to testify today and for...continued

This Week's House Votes: Federalism as Farce

Posted July 8, 2011 by David Goldston

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The Tea Partiers and their allies love to prattle on about “federalism” – the idea of a cooperative relationship between the federal and state governments.  They use “federalism” as a rallying cry to argue for limiting the authority of the...continued

Why General Attacks on Regulation are Wrong

Posted June 3, 2011 by David Goldston

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I delivered the following written and oral testimony today to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations: Oral Testimony Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member DeGette and Members of the Subcommittee, Thank you for the opportunity to appear before...continued

Casting Oil Upon the Waters: The House Drilling Bills

Posted May 2, 2011 by David Goldston

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This week, the House could vote on three bills to expand offshore oil and gas drilling.  It is remarkable enough that the House would take up such measures before Congress has done a thing to make drilling safer.  But what...continued

The Continuing Resolution Lets Environmental Protection Continue

Posted April 13, 2011 by David Goldston

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Late Monday night, the actual text of the spending agreement for the remainder of this fiscal year became public. While President Obama and House Speaker Boehner had reached an agreement in principle with much fanfare just before midnight last Friday...continued


Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit

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