by William Teach | May 8, 2017 7:45 am
There’s actually some confusion on the numbers. The NY Times says at least five. The Washington Post says half of the 18 were dismissed. Start with the Fish Wrap, as written by uber-Warmist Coral Davenport
E.P.A. Dismisses Members of Major Scientific Review Board
The Environmental Protection Agency has dismissed at least five members of a major scientific review board, the latest signal of what critics call a campaign by the Trump administration to shrink the agency’s regulatory reach by reducing the role of academic research.
A spokesman for the E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt, said he would consider replacing the academic scientists with representatives from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate, as part of the wide net it plans to cast. “The administrator believes we should have people on this board who understand the impact of regulations on the regulated community,” said the spokesman, J. P. Freire.
Seems like an “OMG, this is horrible, Trump and Pruitt fired them, science is doomed!!!!” moment, does it not? Here’s what actually happened, once you get through many more paragraphs lambasting and fear-mongering, a point that most people have moved on to other stories
The scientists dismissed from the 18-member Board of Scientific Counselors received emails from an agency official informing them that their three-year terms had expired and would not be renewed. That was contrary, the scientists said, to what they had been told by officials at the agency in January, just before Mr. Trump’s inauguration.
Those officials, who would seem to be Obama officials, aren’t in charge anymore. These folks served their term(s), and serve at the pleasure of the President. And many of them are whining heavily in both the Times and the Post. Switching to the Post
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has chosen to replace half of the members on one of its key scientific review boards, the first step in a broader effort by Republicans to change the way the agency evaluates the scientific basis for its regulations.
EPA spokesman J.P. Freire said in an email that “no one has been fired or terminated,” and that Pruitt had simply decided to bring in fresh advisers. The agency informed the outside academics on Friday that their terms would not be renewed.
“We’re not going to rubber-stamp the last administration’s appointees. Instead, they should participate in the same open competitive process as the rest of the applicant pool,” Freire said. “This approach is what was always intended for the Board, and we’re making a clean break with the last administration’s approach.”
Twelve members of the board had their terms expire on April 27, which is why there is a discrepancy in the number of people whose services were not renewed. Furthermore, neither Trump nor Pruitt need all these people from previous administration.
House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) held a hearing on the issue in February, arguing that the composition of the Scientific Advisory Board, which was established in 1978, should be expanded to include more non-academics. It is primarily made up of academic scientists and other experts who review EPA’s research to ensure that the regulations the agency undertakes have a sound scientific basis.
“The EPA routinely stacks this board with friendly scientists who receive millions of dollars in grants from the federal government,” Smith said at the time. “The conflict of interest here is clear.”
All the people on the board are friendly to the continued expansion of the EPA’s powers and reach. How many actually dissent from what the EPA employees-slash-activists want to accomplish? Doesn’t seem like many, if any. The idea of the EPA is a good one: unfortunately, it has long exceeded its mandate and mission, continuously making rules which give itself more and more power over the nation.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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