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UCS Sues to Stop EPA from Kicking Independent Experts Off Advisory Boards

, senior policy analyst, Clean Vehicles

The Union of Concerned Scientists and Protect Democracy – a legal non-profit dedicated to preventing our democracy from declining into a more authoritarian form of government – have teamed up to challenge EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s directive that would ban anyone from serving on EPA advisory boards if they receive EPA grant funding. Under the guise of improving advisory board balance, Pruitt is using this directive to populate advisory boards with industry-funded scientists and state government officials who have made a career fighting federal regulations. The EPA Science Advisory Board, for example, now includes fourteen new members who consult or work for the fossil fuel or chemical industries, which gave Pruitt nearly $320,000 for his campaigns in Oklahoma as a state senator and attorney general. Read more >

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Scott Pruitt’s EPA Grant Ban Doesn’t Apply to States or Tribes. Here’s Why That’s Interesting.

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

This afternoon, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that nobody who receives an EPA grant should be allowed to provide scientific advice to the agency. Yep—those scientists, the ones that the EPA thinks do the most promising research related to public health and the environment? Their advice isn’t welcome anymore. We’ve written a lot about how this represents a major step in the political takeover of science advice at EPA. Read more >

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Photo: Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2.0 (Wikimedia)

Scott Pruitt Deals Yet Another Blow to Independent Science Advice at the EPA

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

Before September, the EPA’s Science Advisory Board was composed of 47 scientists volunteering their time as public servants to help advise the agency on issues ranging from the safety of selected chemicals to the types of models used by the agency to sufficiently study emissions. Read more >

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Why the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act Is Bad for Science

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

Congress’ perennial bill, the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act, has again reared its ugly head. The bill seeks to change the requirements for the EPA’s advisory committee to give industry greater influence while adding extra burdens that make it harder for the committee to meet its charge of providing science advice. It would also have the side effect of dissuading scientists from serving on this advisory committee because of future restrictions to obtaining EPA funding. Read more >

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