Scott Pruitt had already moved to replace much of the scientific review boards at the EPA with industry lobbyists.
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.
And with that minor test run over, Pruitt has moved on to a wholesale purge of scientists from his supposedly scientific agency.
The Environmental Protection Agency has given notice to dozens of scientists that they will not be renewed in their roles in advising the agency, continuing a scientific shake-up that has already triggered resignations and charges from some researchers that the administration is politicizing the agency.
With climate change data hidden or destroyed, Pruitt directly working to raise funds for Republicans, and actions that go beyond accepting climate change to denying basic science, it’s no doubt inconvenient to have people around who know what the hell they’re doing. So that is being remedied. Pronto. And just in case any of those scientists were thinking about saying something Pruitt wouldn’t like, he made sure that wouldn’t happen—at least not on EPA grounds.
None of the subcommittees will have a chair or vice chair, and all committee meetings scheduled for late summer and fall have been cancelled.
Pruitt’s actions completely wipes out the existing Board of Scientific Counselors. It means the whole board can now be reappointed, filled with industry lobbyists and science deniers, and the EPA can then go forward on the basis that “its scientific advisers” tell it that carbon dioxide is good for plants, only God can change the climate, and Donald Trump is nature’s bestie.
President Trump has directed Mr. Pruitt to radically remake the E.P.A., pushing for deep cuts in its budget — including a 40 percent reduction for its main scientific branch — and instructing him to roll back major Obama-era regulations on climate change and clean water protection.
No clean water. No clean air. Certainly no scientists.
It seems pretty clear that neither Trump nor Pruitt understand what “protection” means. They certainly don’t understand “environmental.”