Government Wants Neutrality, Scientists Want A Say

PUBLISHED: 2:07 AM 25 Jan 2018

EPA Under Fire From Scientists Over New Rules Aimed To Ensure Objectivity

The scientists are suing, saying they shouldn’t have to choose.

There is going to be a massive battle between the EPA and independent scientists.

A group of disgruntled scientists is suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Trump administration refused to accept the status quo and has been systematically purging the agency of redundant and ineffective employees.

Last fall EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt barred scientists receiving government grants from serving on EPA boards. His motivation was clear- objectivity.

“There are dozens and dozens of these folks. Over the years these individuals, as they’ve served in those capacities, guess what’s also happened? They’ve received monies through grants, and often substantial monies through grants,”  Pruitt said.

“I’m going to issue a directive that addresses that — that is much like sue and settle — to ensure the independence and transparency and objectivity in regard to the scientific advice we are getting at the agency.”

Scientists were furious after Pruitt announced the new directive. They’re used to running wild, confident that the White House would accept any expense as long as it was in the name of science. Pruitt is whipping the agency back into shape, but it’s going to take time.

“The Directive is arbitrary, without any factual or legal grounding, and violates the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which requires advisory committees to be fairly balanced and protected from inappropriate influence by the appointing authority,” the activist group Protect Democracy complained.

Researchers argue that Pruitt’s directive forces them to choose between following a government career or their scientific passion.

“This is an abuse of power and an affront to the scientific integrity of the EPA and the federal government,” said Joshua Goldman, a senior legal analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists, the group that filed the lawsuit.  

“This directive singles out scientists from the nonprofit and academic sector—recognized experts in their field who want to serve the public—and asks them to choose between public service and their scientific work. It’s another example of this administration’s hostility to independent scientific input…

Scientists are twisting Pruitt’s motives. They refuse to admit that he may have good intentions, instead stubbornly clinging to the idea that he and President Trump are at war with reason.

“Anti-democratic governments thrive on obfuscating truth and seeking to suppress scientists and other authoritative voices that offer accurate information,” Protect Democracy counsel Jamila Benkato said in a blistering statement. “The EPA’s directive is one more example of the administration’s assault on facts.”

The scientists’ lawsuit has little chance of succeeding.

Liberals treat Pruitt even more disrespectful than they treat President Trump. The EPA had a glorified status under Barack Obama’s administration, and leftists are still sour that those days are over. Global warming, treated as an indisputable fact while Obama was around, is now facing real scientific rigor.

“The American people deserve an objective, transparent and honest discussion about what we know or don’t know with respect to CO2 — it’s never taken place,” Pruitt said recently.

“And that’s the reason I have been proposing a red team-blue team exercise … where we’d bring red team scientists in and blue team scientists in and they would engage in a multi-month process asking of each other these very difficult questions to help inform the American public on these issues to help build consensus towards this very important issue.”

Pruitt doesn’t have an agenda. He’s committed serving the agency the best way that he can.

Nothing Pruitt does, however, will be okay with the tree-huggers. Esquire magazine published an article that was bluntly titled “Why Scott Pruitt Is the Frontrunner for Trump’s Worst Cabinet Member.”

“The head of the Environmental Protection Agency always has seemed less than enthusiastic about, you know, protecting the environment, but very enthusiastic about making it harder to protect the environment from the people who have financed his entire public career,” the author snipes.

The “sophisticated” New Yorker, meanwhile, titled their hit job “Scott Pruitt and Donald Trump Further Endanger the Planet.”

“In recent decades, Congress’s response to climate change, and indeed that of the entire American political system, has been woefully inadequate,” bemoans the magazine.

“This failure is often framed in passive terms… But, in setting out to reverse the measures taken by the Obama Administration, Trump has moved into the realm of the active facilitation of disaster.”

President Trump has been rectifying Obama’s mistakes. If that requires destroying the former president’s legacy, so be it.