Around 12 scientists working for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been dismissed from their jobs after their contracts were not renewed by their head, Scott Pruitt. Pruitt, who himself reportedly has close ties to the fossil fuel industry with frequent meetings, calls, dinners and other events was unable to offer adequate rationale behind the dismissals.
Needless to say, replacing scientists with industrialists nullifies the goals of the EPA. Scientific review boards are crucial to the proper functioning of the agency and in fact it is the EPA that overlooks industrialist and their activities to ensure they are not damaging the environment. Now placing them at important positions in the agency just doesn’t make sense.
“Is this an earnest move to curtail the EPA’s overreach, as Pruitt puts it? Or is it more akin to appointing judges who were once thieves , because they better understand the impacts of sentences on the sentenced community,” reads a Quartz article.
"The administrator believes we should have people on this board who understand the impact of regulations on the regulated community,” said J.P. Freire, an agency spokesman.
However, Robert Richardson, a researcher at Michigan State University, and en EPA employee who was recently dismissed says the move is politically motivated. In an interview, when asked what makes him think Pruitt’s acts are political, he said, “In part, because of the rhetoric that has been surfaced since then, the quotes that I have seen from the EPA spokesperson, who’ve said that they didn’t want to renew these appointments and that they wanted to fill this board with representatives from industry. One quote was that this board should reflect an understanding of the impact of regulations on the regulated community. This is a board that advises on science and the board had no role in reviewing or approving regulations.”
It is important to note here that President Donald Trump has never really taken climate change seriously. He once called it a “hoax” “made by the Chinese for the Chinese.”
Check out the video above to learn more about the EPA.
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