EPA Chief Set to Bar Government-Funded Experts From Agency’s Science Panels


Try asking the nation’s top environmental protection official to “describe the shortcomings of the scientific evidence for climate change,” and what type of data he might find persuasive on the subject.

You might shake loose news of major policy changes designed to end what President Donald Trump’s team sees as potential conflicts of interest that undermine the value of scientific advice to the government agency.

That opportunity came Tuesday for an audience member during The Heritage Foundation’s annual President’s Club meeting in Washington, where Scott Pruitt, the former Oklahoma attorney general who now heads up the Environmental Protection Agency, took on that question.

Pruitt revealed that he will issue a directive aimed at ensuring the “independence, transparency, and objectivity” of experts who serve on the agency’s scientific advisory boards. He suggested he may rule out science advisers with a history of taking EPA grants, sometimes “to the tune of literally tens of millions of dollars.”

“I think what’s most important at the agencies is to have scientific advisers who are objective, independent-minded, providing transparent recommendations to me as the administrator and to our office on the decisions that we’re making on the efficacy of rules …read more