Yesterday, Scott Pruitt announced that he was barring from federal service independent science advisors who have received research grants from the Environmental Protection Agency.
The basis for this decision: That no scientific adviser to the EPA should be burdened by, or appear to be burdened by, a conflict of interest with the agency.
So, of course, he also disqualified science advisors who have either received funding from regulated industry, or those who are employed by regulated industry.
Except that he didn’t.
Scott Pruitt is recasting science advice at the EPA. Rather than using peer-reviewed science to inform a regulatory agenda, he is using industry opinions, masquerading as science, to rubber stamp his anti-Obama de-regulatory agenda.
We are nearing a day when Scott Pruitt will be able to put rules before the EPA’s Science Advisory Board for which he needs or wants the appearance of scientific credibility. It’ll look better to Pruitt, and to Donald Trump’s base, if that scientific credibility comes from the SAB, and not the Heartland Institute or the American Chemical Society.
But given what Pruitt did to the SAB yesterday, science advice at EPA and the political agendas of the Heartland Institute and American Chemical Society will effectively be one in the same.
It’s the first of November, 2017. It’s not a normal Wednesday.
You can find me on Twitter at @DecisionLab