GUEST: Genna Reed, science and policy analyst in the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists
BACKGROUND: The head of Donald Trump's Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt is making free marketeers, Christian evangelicals, and climate deniers very happy. Pruitt recently announced a bizarre new rule barring scientists who received federal funding from serving on the EPA's advisory boards. The move stripped several scientists of their advisory positions and barred thousands of grant-recipients from advising the agency on matters of science.
The former Oklahoma Attorney General who sued the agency he now heads more than a dozen times, cited biblical references in making a convoluted case that scientists were somehow not objective if they received federal funding. His appointment of several industry representatives to replace them indicates that he considers pro-corporate, fossil-fuel tainted figures as free from conflicts of interest at the EPA.
Pruitt earlier this year proposed a public debate between climate scientists and deniers that he calls a "red team-blue team" exercise. He is apparently now vetting climate deniers for his red team suggested by the virulently pro-corporate Heartland Institute.
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