Scott Pruitt’s EPA has effectively shut down its Board of Scientific Councilors (BOSC).

By electing to not renew any of its current members whose terms expire in August, and by suspending all of its subcommittees’ work for the remainder of the year, the BOSC is ready for a complete makeover in 2018.

If murmurs about revamping the science advisory process to make it more industry-friendly are true, then we can only assume that science advice to the agency will be weakened.

Why?

Because the current charters of the EPA’s science advisory boards already allow, and include, membership from industry scientists.  So, I can only assume that making these boards even more “industry-friendly” is code for opening them up to weakly credentialed or ideologically driven representatives.

Indeed, Scott Openshaw from American Chemistry Council remarked that a makeover of the EPA’s scientific advisory boards would address “concerns in the past that EPA advisory boards did not include a diversity of views and therefore frequently presented a biased perspective on issues before them.”

Judging by Mr. Openshaw’s remarks, he clearly does not understand the role, nor the composition, of the EPA’s scientific advisory boards.

Moreover, Mr. Openshaw should be informed that not getting what he or the American Chemistry Council wants vis-a-vis preferential treatment from the EPA is different from the EPA providing a biased perspective.

It is Thursday, the 22nd of June 2017. It’s not a normal day.

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