EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Bars Government-Paid Science Advisers From Panels


The nation’s top environmental protection official signed a directive Tuesday aimed at preventing conflicts of interest while bolstering the independence and integrity of scientists who advise the government.

Under the new policy announced by Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, researchers and scientists who currently receive grants from the agency are not eligible to fill open slots on three science advisory groups.

“Whatever science comes out of EPA shouldn’t be political science,” Pruitt, appointed by President Donald Trump, told reporters during a press conference at EPA headquarters in Washington. “From this day forward, EPA advisory committee members will be financially independent from the agency.”

Otherwise qualified applicants, including those from parts of the country seen as excluded from public service under the Obama administration, will have a leg up as the EPA changes under the Trump administration.

The remarks by Pruitt, former attorney general of Oklahoma, focused on three major panels among the EPA’s 22 advisory committees.

In the past three years, members of the Science Advisory Board, the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, and the Board of Scientific Counselors received about $77 million in direct EPA grants while serving, according to agency calculations.

“Strengthening independence from EPA; increasing state, tribal, and local …read more