Yogin Kothari

Washington representative, Center for Science and Democracy

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Yogin Kothari is a Washington representative with the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. He advocates for science-based policy solutions on a number of issues, including the regulatory process, endangered species, and chemical safety. He also works to reduce political interference in federal science and increase transparency and accountability. A graduate of George Washington University, Kothari been with UCS since 2011. Previously, he worked on Capitol Hill before serving as lead assistant director at Grassroots Campaigns. See Yogin's full bio.

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Photo: North Carolina National Guard/CC BY-ND 2.0 (Flickr)

What Scott Pruitt Still Gets Wrong About Chemical Safety Post-Hurricane Harvey

In a recent interview with ABC’s “Powerhouse Politics” podcast, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was asked about the agency’s role in responding to Hurricanes Irma and Harvey and the devastation caused in Florida and Texas by the natural disasters. During the conversation, one of the hosts asked Administrator Pruitt about the EPA’s Risk Management Plan (RMP) rule and his decision to delay implementation of the amendments to modernize the standards for chemical facility safety (relevant because a chemical plant covered by this rule exploded after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston). Read more >

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5 Reasons Why the Regulatory Accountability Act is Bad for Science

Last week, Senator Rob Portman introduced his version of the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA), a bill that would significantly disrupt our science-based rulemaking process. A version of this inherently flawed, impractical proposal has been floating around Washington for nearly seven years now, and the latest, S. 951, is just as troubling as previous iterations. Read more >

Photo: James Gathany, CDC
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EPA Should Not Delay an Update to Its Chemical Facility Safety (RMP) Rule

As you may know, Scott Pruitt’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is delaying or “reconsidering” numerous science-based safeguards, generally at the behest of industry. One of the rules caught in this delay is a very important update to the EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP). After initially staying the rule for 60 days and then an additional 90 days, Administrator Pruitt has proposed a new rule to delay the implementation of the RMP update until February 2019. My colleague covered how ridiculous the idea is here. Read more >

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Why Senator Lankford’s “BEST Act” Is Really the Worst for Federal Science

A few weeks ago, Sen. James Lankford (OK) introduced legislation called the “Better Evaluation of Science and Technology Act,” or “BEST Act” for short. The proposal takes the scientific standards language from the recently updated Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and applies it to the Administrative Procedures Act (which governs all federal rulemaking). Sen. Lankford claims the BEST Act would guarantee that federal agencies use the best available science to protect public health, safety, the environment, and more.

Nice sound bite, right? Read more >

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Photo: USCapitol/Flickr

Attacking Science in Week One: How Congress is Trying to Dismantle Public Protections

You may have heard that Congress is back in session this week. The House of Representatives started off by trying to eviscerate their own independent ethics watchdog behind closed doors on a national holiday. The public noticed, raised hell, and forced the chamber to reverse course. But the absurdity in the House continues. Read more >

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