Mar 18, 2015

House Hits EPA Science Advisors in Bill

House Republicans are still working to block the EPA from functioning against polluters and stop environmental experts from serving on the EPA's Science Advisory Boards. Wisconsin Republicans are joining the fight.

Yesterday, the House passed its new version of a bill, HR 1029, that would limit and delineate which scientists serve on the EPA's scientific advisory board.

The Wisconsin House Republican delegation all voted for the anti-science measure, except for Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Somewhere in Wisconsin's Gerrymandered Seventh District) who did not vote evidently out of his ongoing concern "to take our common sense values to Washington" and abstain.

House Democrats all opposed the GOP's anti-science measure.

As noted in Bleeding Heartland:

Cristina Marcos reported for The Hill:
The bill would prohibit the board, which advises the EPA on its regulations, from appointing members who are registered lobbyists. It would also require that at least 10 percent of board members be from state, local or tribal governments.

Republicans argued that the bill would increase transparency at the EPA. [...] But Democrats said the legislation would create unnecessary burdens and limit the number of environmental experts serving on the board by establishing a quota for people representing regional governments.

"Instead of improving the Science Advisory Board's (SAB) structure or operation, the bill will limit the quality of scientific advice that the EPA receives and allow seemingly endless delays in EPA's regulatory process," said Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.).
Emily Atkin reported earlier this month at Think Progress that the Science Advisory Board Reform Act
would change the rules surrounding which scientists are allowed to serve on the Science Advisory Board (SAB), a group that gives scientific advice to the EPA. The SAB reviews the quality of science used to justify EPA regulations, like rules that limit air pollution from power plants. Among other things, the bill sponsored by Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) would make it easier for scientists with financial ties to corporations to advise the agency, and would make it more difficult for scientists who have applied for grants from the EPA to join the board.

Scott Walker is working on similar state measure against using science against polluters as the health of Wisconsin families decreases in importance for the Republican Party.

President Obama's office has said he would veto any bill like HR 1029 that reaches his desk.

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