Target: U.S. Senate, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Goal: Don’t replace independent scientists with industry officials on EPA’s Science Advisory Board
A controversial bill that prevents well-qualified, independent scientists from advising members of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was passed in the United States House of Representatives recently. Current advisory scientists on the EPA’s Science Advisory Board are to be replaced by industry-affiliated individuals who may not be well-versed in relevant scientific and environmental affairs.
The EPA’s Science Advisory Board has worked to ensure that the EPA is informed about relevant scientific data for the agency’s decision making and program planning since the board was founded in 1978. The passage of this new bill would alter the original intent of the board, and may lead to negative consequences due to conflict of interests of the industry officials as board members.
House Representative Chris Stewart, who heavily advocated for the passing of this bill in the House of Representatives, shared his thoughts on the legitimacy of the bill: “All we’re asking is that there be some balance to those experts…We’re losing valuable insight and valuable guidance because we don’t include them in the process.”
Critics of the bill argue that the idea of creating some “balance to those experts” who advise the EPA may actually be a way for companies to garner their self-interests and push for more exploitation of the environment to further their energy initiatives.
Another controversial aspect of the bill is that research scientists are restricted from giving advice on any topic that may be associated with their own research work. This means that individuals who are most knowledgeable about certain scientific research may not give input on the work.
Please sign the petition below to ask the United States Senate to stop this harmful bill. The EPA needs scientists who are highly qualified and knowledgeable about the environment to advise the agency to ensure the welfare of the environment.
Dear Senator Harry Reid,
The preservation of our environment is of great importance, and highly-qualified experts in relevant fields and research of science are necessary to ensure that the EPA is well advised on scientific affairs. Hearing about the passage of the bill in the House of Representatives was quite disconcerting, in that well-qualified scientists are to be replaced by industry representatives who may or may not have the environment at their best interest in advising the EPA. This may lead to further destruction of the environment, as newly instated industry officials on the EPA’s Science Advisory Board may be influenced by chemical companies to make laws regulating the the use of chemicals and energy more lenient.
Please ensure that this controversial bill does not pass in the Senate, to guarantee that highly-qualified scientists are advising the EPA instead of less scientifically knowledgeable individuals who may have other interests in mind besides the preservation of the environment.
[Your Name Here]
Image Credit: Loranchet via Wikimedia Commons