Department of Interior


UCS Survey Shows Interior Department is Worse Than We Thought—And That’s Saying Something

, Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Democracy

Can scientific staff at the US Department of the Interior rest easy knowing that their colleagues at other agencies have it worse when it comes to political interference?

Survey says: Nope. Read more >

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The endangered margay. Photo: Proyecto Asis/Flickr

The Endangered Species Act is Itself Endangered

, researcher, Center for Science & Democracy

In the last two weeks, both the Senate and House have introduced bills proposing damaging amendments to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the leading piece of science-based legislation used to protect and recover biodiversity in the United States. Notably, Senator John Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) and long-time critic of the Act, released a discussion draft of the bill he’s been working on entitled, “the Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2018.” The changes to the Act would introduce more routes for political interference under the guise of increased transparency, while relegating science to an afterthought instead of the basis upon which Endangered Species Act decisions are made. An EPW hearing is scheduled for tomorrow morning, where representatives from Wyoming, Colorado, and Virginia will testify before the committee on the proposed changes to the Act.

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Photo: Proyecto Asis
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Department of Interior Buries Communications Policy After Attempting to Justify Muzzling Scientists

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times broke the story about the new policy at the U.S. Geological Survey requiring scientists to get permission before speaking to reporters about science. In an attempt to justify the muzzling, a department spokesperson said they were just following an Obama-era communications policy (sound familiar?). After reporters linked to the policy, it was removed from its previous location and buried deep in the DOI website. You can find it there as a Word document; I’ve made a PDF available hereRead more >

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The Health and Safety of America’s Workers Is at Risk

, executive director

We’ve made great progress, but the Trump administration is intent on rolling back protections and favoring industry interests over the public interest. Read more >

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Secretary Zinke’s Diversity Problem

, Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Democracy

I was a career senior executive and climate policy advisor at the Interior Department before I was involuntarily reassigned by the Trump Administration. In my role I had been focused on leading an interagency response to the slow-moving disaster in America’s Arctic, where Alaska Natives were faced daily with the impacts of a rapidly changing climate. With the safety of Americans at risk, I was stunned that the new Trump Administration would so callously leave these people to their own devices.

I should not have been surprised. Read more >

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