On Monday, Fox News mouthpiece and Trump transition team member, Steve Milloy, wrote a misleading editorial for the Wall Street Journal. It was a hatchet job.
In it, Milloy tells a story of corruption within the EPA. He offers no evidence to back up his claim, and uses his conspiracy theory to justify the firing of independent science advisors at the agency.
This is not normal.
As I’ve written before, independent science advisors at the EPA—whether they represent industry or the academy—undergo strict conflict-of-interest and ethics screenings.
And, membership on the EPA’s scientific advisory boards is determined by the EPA Administrator. So if Milloy’s accusation of corruption was true, it would require a conspiracy going back through several Republican- and Democrat-appointed EPA leaders.
Also, all work that is passed to the EPA’s main science advisory boards is assigned by the Administrator. Likewise, accepting or rejecting conclusions from CASAC and SAB is again at the discretion of the Administrator. So, if the EPA was corrupt, several Administrators would have been in on the scheme.
I’ll add this: The last time I checked, the EPA has a new administrator. A Republican. But, unlike previous Republican-appointed administrators, this one is set on making a lot of political noise in places where the optics are favorable: both to him, and to the lobbyists he has an allegiance to.
If smart policy is the goal, none of Scott Pruitt’s actions are necessary.
However, if political posturing and gamesmanship are Pruitt’s objective, then his actions are on target.
One last thing: Steve Milloy is widely known as being in the pocket of oil companies and the tobacco industry. He ran the widely ridiculed (not to mention harmful) website, junkscience.com. He also created CSRWatch, which was an organized smear campaign against companies that took an early stand on sustainability.
That he has written this piece is neither surprising, nor convincing. Indeed, I’m surprised that the Wall Street Journal published it.
Its the 19th of July, 2017.
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