Donald Trump just issued an executive order that could terminate as many as HALF of the science advisory committees at the Environmental Protection Agency:
“More than half of EPA’s science advisory committees could be vulnerable to repeal by the end of the fiscal year including the Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee.”
This is unprecedented and could fundamentally undermine science at the Environmental Protection Agency for years, if not decades, to come.
The Government Accountability Office blasted Trump and his top officials for violating federal guidelines by replacing scientists with fossil fuel lobbyists and insiders at the EPA.
It’s clear Trump has no respect for science or scientists. But we can’t allow his scientific illiteracy to weaken, and in some cases, erase the critical work the EPA is doing.
And we don’t have much time to act Peter: Trump’s executive order will dismantle more than a dozen scientific committees by September.
That’s why 314 Action, the largest organization devoted to electing Democratic scientists in the nation, is working to stop Trump’s attacks on science (as well as is targeting his top lieutenants in both the House and the Senate).
Do you believe science has a place in government? That scientists should be allowed to input on policy areas related to public health, safe drinking water, clean air, the environment, and climate change?
If there’s one thing the COVID-19 pandemic underscores, it’s the critical importance of strong and sound science that protects public health and safety.
That’s why it’s so distressing that — at this perilous moment — the Trump administration is moving ahead with a new and dangerous “Censoring Science” rule. This rule would undermine science, scientists, and decades of progress in protecting our clean air, clean water, and public health.
Trump’s “Censoring Science” rule — the so-called “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” proposal — would restrict the EPA’s use of the best available science in setting new safeguards that protect our families from dirty air, unsafe drinking water, and dangerous impacts from climate change.
The proposal gives fossil-fuel-lobbyist-turned-EPA-chief, Andrew Wheeler, the power to censor the science that underlies our country’s environmental and public health protections.
He claims that the EPA should only consider publicly available data in making its policies. That may sound reasonable, but here’s the reality: thousands of strong, peer-reviewed scientific studies rely on private, confidential patient data — medical studies, personal health data, and clinical reports — which cannot be made public by law.
The net result of the Censoring Science rule is that the EPA will rely much more on questionable data and research produced by the same polluting industries the agency is supposed to be regulating.
As a former EPA administrator myself, I can tell you that this proposal has nothing to do with protecting science. It’s about advancing the Trump administration’s agenda of undermining solid science, and rolling back decades of protections for our environment, our climate, and our public health. And it’s about giving the administration’s powerful polluter allies free rein to “regulate” themselves.
In the midst of a massive, global public health crisis, we deserve a government that relies on the best available science to protect us against harm. This proposal does the opposite. In fact, this supplemental proposal was not even reviewed by the EPA’s own Scientific Advisory Board before it was released to the public, demonstrating the agency’s lack of interest in any meaningful consultation with scientific experts.
President, NRDC 25 maart 2020