The Department of Energy (DOE) is being investigated by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology for allegedly retaliating against a whistleblower who provided Congress with information on a department program.

“After briefing Republican staff of the House Science Committee, a Department of Energy (DOE) employee was apparently fired because of the information they provided,” Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith , chairman of the House science committee, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“It is unlawful for a federal employee to be fired because they answered questions from Congress,” Smith said. “Retaliation against whistleblowers is a serious offense. While the employee has since returned to federal service, concerns remain surrounding the circumstances of their termination.”

In October 2014, an unnamed senior DOE radiation biologist briefed congressional staffers on scientific issues with the department’s Low Dose Radiation Research Program. This program was created to study the effects of very small amounts of radiation on biological tissue. The briefing lasted for several hours, and the scientists talked to staffers about the status of the program, scientific uncertainty in their research, and even upcoming legislation that would impact radiation research.

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