DOI


Photo: NCinDC/CC BY-ND 2.0 (Flickr)

DOI’s New Policy Restricts Science Under the Guise of Transparency

, researcher, Center for Science & Democracy

Last week, Interior Department Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt issued an order, “Promoting Open Science”, purportedly to increase transparency and public accessibility of the research used by the Department to make science-based decisions. This seems dubious coming from a person who spent much of his career lobbying for the oil and gas industry and who at his confirmation hearing professed, “Here’s the reality: We’re going to look at the science whatever it is, but … policy decisions are made — this president ran and he won on a particular perspective.” The order, effective immediately, is not unlike the EPA’s “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” proposed rule, in that it restricts the use of science in important decisions that affects the public and our environment. Read more >

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The endangered black-footed ferret. Photo: USFWS Mountain-prairie

Proposed Changes to the Endangered Species Act Threaten Wildlife

, researcher, Center for Science & Democracy

The Trump Administration is threatening species, land conservation, and human health and wellbeing by rolling back our health, safety, and environmental protections. This time the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) are attempting to undercut the scientific basis of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by proposing changes that will make it less effective, even increasing the chances that species will go extinct. Read more >

Photo: USFWS Mountain-Praire
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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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Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina. Photo: NPS

If You Can’t Censor It, Bury It: DOI Tries to Make a Stark New Study on Rising Seas Invisible

, deputy director, Climate & Energy Program

A new National Park Service (NPS) report is unequivocal that human-caused climate change has significantly increased the rate of sea level rise that is putting coastal sites at risk. But the study is difficult to find on the web and the report’s lead author, Maria Caffrey of the University of Colorado, says she had to fight to keep many scientific statements about climate change in the final version. Read more >

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Photo: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Donald Trump’s State of the Union: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

, director of strategy & policy

In his State of the Union address to Congress, President Trump exaggerated the benefits of the Republican tax cut bill to average Americans, overlooked the harm that will result from his push to weaken public health and worker safety protections, and disregarded the serious concerns expressed about key elements of his forthcoming infrastructure proposal. Read more >

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