EPA dismisses climate change scientists 'to replace them with industry reps'

EPA dismisses climate change scientists 'to replace them with industry reps'

Board of Scientific Counselors Chairwoman Deborah Swackhamer said today that nine of the 18 outside experts on her panel saw their three-year terms expire April 30.

An EPA spokesman told The Washington Post that the board members whose terms were not renewed are free to reapply for their positions "in the same open competitive process as the rest of the applicant pool" which may include industry officials from timber, poultry and oil companies.

"We're not going to rubber-stamp the last administration's appointees", Freire told the Washington Post.

"The administrator believes we should have people on this board who understand the impact of regulations on the regulated community", Freire told the Times.

The Trump administration also has called for deep cuts at the EPA, reducing its overall budget by almost a third, at the same time the administration has moved to reverse or slow some of the agency's regulatory decisions.

Pruitt "will most likely be replacing them with members who come from industry", said John J.

The Board of Science Counselors has 18 members, at least five of whom were dismissed on Friday. Conservatives also have been seeking new appointments to the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee and the Science Advisory Board to help buttress any EPA moves to reverse Obama-era ozone limits or the agency's landmark 2009 conclusion that greenhouse gas emissions endanger the public health and welfare.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has always been a fierce critic of the agency he now leads, saying its scientists often fail to weigh the cost of implementing new regulations on businesses.

The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act, which Smith co-sponsored and which passed the House in late March, bars anyone who has an ongoing EPA research grant from serving on the Science Advisory Board, another board that helps oversee work at the EPA, and prohibits board members from applying for grants for three years after they step down from the panel.

An EPA spokesman told CNBC in a statement that the agency received "hundreds of nominations" to serve on the Board of Scientific Counselors.

Trump's proposed federal budget calls for the EPA to lose 84% of its operating budget, a cut of $542,000.

Freire added, "We're making a clean break with the last administration's approach". "I think they want to bring in business and industry people".

Courtney Flint, a professor of natural resource sociology at Utah State University who has served on the board since 2014, said she was surprised by the dismissal.

According to the Washington Post, an overhaul of scientific boards is not unique to the EPA this week.

Scott Pruitt, who's made no secret of his opposition to the agency he now leads and its environmental mission, apparently has no use for these academicians' guidance.

In a separate development, the Interior Department says it has launched a wide ranging review of more than 200 boards and advisory committees.

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