Transparency


Photo: US Department of Defense

Here are the “Transparency” Policy Documents the EPA Does Not Want You to See

, Washington representative, Center for Science and Democracy

On April 17th, the Union of Concerned Scientists obtained EPA records through three separate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests demonstrating that a proposed Trojan horse “transparency” policy that would restrict the agency’s ability to use the best available science in decision-making is driven by politics, not science. The records also embarrassingly showed EPA officials were more concerned about the release of industry trade secrets than they were about sensitive private medical information.

Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Photo: bigwavephoto/CC BY-SA 4.0 (Wikimedia)

This Sunshine Week, How “Draining the Swamp” and Open Government are Faring in the Trump Era

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

We are more than one year into President Trump’s administration, and if you’ve been following the news, you know all too well that the whole “draining the swamp” initiative was only ever lip service at best. Despite issuing an executive order on ethics in his first week of office, President Trump has managed to appoint a slew of former lobbyists or industry staff to positions dealing directly with issues that affect their former employers’ bottom lines. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

In Australia, Too, Shareholders Demand Climate Transparency from Fossil Fuel Companies

, climate accountability campaign manager

[Update December 19, 2017, 1:16pm] BHP Billiton Limited issued its promised report on the material differences between the company’s positions on climate and energy policy and the advocacy positions on climate and energy policy taken by industry associations to which BHP belongs. Based on its review, the company has decided to withdraw from the World Coal Association and to reconsider its membership in the US Chamber of Commerce. BHP will formally communicate with the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) over the inconsistencies between its position and those of the MCA, request that the MCA refrain from policy activity or advocacy in those area, and review its membership in the MCA if the association has not heeded that request within a year.

BHP’s report and the actions the company has taken based on it are a significant step forward for transparency and accountability of corporate lobbying. UCS and our supporters will be urging other major fossil fuel companies to match BHP’s disclosures and to ensure that the climate-related positions of their trade associations and industry groups are aligned with their own.

Read more >

Fig. 2 from Frumhoff, Heede, Oreskes (2015) based on data from Heede (2014)
Bookmark and Share

On EPA Scientific Integrity, Wall Street Journal is Short of Facts

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

An opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal misrepresents the facts about an annual meeting on scientific integrity at the EPA and the role of the EPA scientific integrity officer. Here are some details about what that meeting is and the role of federal agency scientific integrity officers.  Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Monsanto’s Four Tactics for Undermining Glyphosate Science Review

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

Emails unsealed in a California lawsuit last week reveal that agribusiness giant Monsanto engaged in activities aimed at undermining efforts to evaluate a potential link between glyphosate—the active ingredient of the company’s popular herbicide Roundup—and cancer. The documents reveal the company’s plans to seed the scientific literature with a ghostwritten study, and its efforts to delay and prevent US government assessments of the product’s safety. Read more >

Bookmark and Share