Science and Democracy

The partnership between science and democracy has played a huge role in U.S. history. But misinformation and attacks on science have strained that partnership. UCS science and democracy experts keep you informed on the latest developments, from Capitol Hill to local communities.


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Latest Science and Democracy Posts

The Chevron Richmond refinery fire, August 6, 2012. Photo: Greg Kunit/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 (Flickr)

Contents Under Pressure: Speak Out Against EPA Proposed Chemical Facility Safety Rollbacks That Put Communities at Risk

, researcher, Center for Science & Democracy

Over the last year, we have written extensively on the actions that Scott Pruitt’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken to eliminate or weaken critical science-based protections, particularly on chemical facility safety. From the outset, Pruitt was determined to delay the implementation of updates to the Risk Management Plan(RMP) that called for the assessment of safer technologies, more accessible and quality information for communities near facilities, and improved emergency response coordination. Now with a new proposed rule, the saga continues as the EPA under Pruitt moves one step closer to eliminating hard-fought improvements to the RMP. Read more >

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Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

New Evidence Shows Just How Bad the Trump Administration is at Governing

, senior policy and legal analyst, Clean Vehicles

President Trump likes to brag about how many regulations his administration is removing. The President’s “2 for 1” order requires federal agencies to revoke two regulations for every new rule they want to issue. This order is aimed at getting “rid of the redundancy and duplication that wastes your time and money.” Call me crazy, but I’d like to keep the regulations on the books that protect consumers, safeguard clean air and water, and keep our kids safe. Regardless of what the Trump Administration boasts, a dive into the data shows just how ineffective the President has been at both enacting and removing regulations. Read more >

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Supreme Court Ignores Science, Enables Voter Purging, But Data May Have Final Say

, Kendall Science Fellow

The Supreme Court, in a narrow 5-4 decision, has upheld a restrictive Ohio election law that initiates a process to purge eligible voters from its voter list if they fail to vote in a single election. A number of other states and localities have also implemented voter list purging tactics, and it is expected that this decision will result in additional states adopting more restrictive voter list purges. Read more >

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Debriefing the EPA’s Science Advisory Board Meeting

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

I spent most of Thursday and Friday this week at the EPA’s Science Advisory Board meeting in Washington, DC, as the 44 members gathered to discuss EPA’s regulatory agenda and hear updates from EPA programs on lead, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). As I explained earlier this week, it was the first meeting for 18 of the members who had been appointed after Administrator Pruitt issued his directive barring EPA-funded scientists from serving on the committee. Read more >

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The difference between 4,645 and 64 deceased in the aftermath of Hurricane María is… science

, Climate Scientist

Over the last few decades, we have seen the Puerto Rican populace’s vulnerability to extreme weather hazards increase as the built environment and social services infrastructure decays, Puerto Ricans and their families flee at an increasing tempo to the United States, and the frequency and intensity of hurricanes in the Caribbean increases. Growing up in Puerto Rico, I lived through one hurricane (Hugo, 1989) and a few tropical storms, but nothing compared in ferocity and devastation to Hurricanes Irma and María. Read more >

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