The Left SCREECHES Against EPA’s Tightened Ethics

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Researcher on Science Advisory Board under Obama refuses to leave…

Trump taps "climate change denier" to lead EPA

Scott Pruitt/Photo by Gage Skidmore

(Quin Hillyer, Liberty Headlines) Liberals love to accuse conservatives of having corporation-related conflicts of interest, no matter how tenuous the link.

But when liberal eco-warriors are called on the carpet for direct and obvious conflicts, they howl.

Scott Pruitt, the conservative Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is facing pushback from members of various EPA “advisory boards” for his directive asking for resignations from the board by any members who also receive grants from the EPA.

PREVIOUSLY: Pruitt Stops EPA’s Back-Door Collusion with Enviro Groups

On the surface, this is standard stuff, even banal: If you receive funding from a public agency, you shouldn’t be advising the agency on matters of policy.

The potential conflicts of interest are blindingly apparent.

“Whatever science comes out of EPA, shouldn’t be political science,” said Administrator Pruitt. “From this day forward, EPA advisory committee members will be financially independent from the Agency.”

As noted by the press release accompanying Pruitt’s Oct. 31 directive, “According to EPA calculations, in just the last three years, members of three of EPA’s 22 [advisory committees] – the Science Advisory Board (SAB), Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) and the Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) – received upwards of $77 million in direct EPA grant funding while concurrently serving on these committees.”

A memo also issued by Pruitt explained further that instead of being tempted by any financial considerations, advisory committee members “should be motivated by service and committed to providing informed and independent expertise and judgment.”

This directive did not sit well with liberal researchers accustomed to the EPA gravy train.

At Columbia University’s Climate Law Blog, writer Michael Burger had a fit, calling Pruitt’s action “arbitrary and capricious” because “there has been no process, no notice given or comment taken, no hearing held, no record compiled, no reasoned explanation.”

Writing as if the members sat on the advisory committees by some sort of legal right, Burger took great pains to show that the Administrative Procedures Act does not define such situations as automatic conflicts of interest, and thus that the APA does not require such members to be dismissed.

Conservatives would answer, of course, that the question isn’t whether the dismissals are required by law, but rather whether they are allowed.

Nothing, they say, keeps an administrator from adopting policies stricter than baseline legal requirements, in order to protect the public interest.

Nonetheless, some of the advisory board members were emboldened by Burger’s blog post.

Ohio State researcher Robyn Wilson insists that, unless specifically and personally fired by Pruitt, she will both keep her EPA funding and her seat on the EPA’s Science Advisory Board.

Just this fall, Wilson received a $150,000 EPA grant to study whether money used for better water quality in Lake Erie is being spent efficiently.

Perhaps it’s a worthwhile grant. That’s immaterial.

Pruitt’s directive assumes that nobody should be affecting policy if that person might also benefit directly from it.

“It’s not really a choice because I can’t return the money,” Wilson said of the ultimatum. “I can’t bail on my collaborators or on the project.”

But, Pruitt’s policy assumes, she does have a choice.

There is no reason she must serve on the Science Advisory Board.

She can keep her grant, keep her ability to receive other EPA grants, keep her job at Ohio State – but just not do all that and serve on the EPA board.

Wilson is among a number of eco-activists who accuse Pruitt of serving a real agenda of stacking committees with friends of industry.

She said that if this is his agenda, or if his real goal is to reduce regulatory burdens, he’s barking up the wrong tree:

“What’s kind of ironic about it is it seems like the administration is trying to stack the board with people who are against regulation,” Wilson said. “And most of my research shows that we can improve water quality in the Great Lakes through voluntary actions. Regulation might not be necessary.”

But her defense of her project, which might be meritorious, assumes that Pruitt’s directive is all political, not ethical.

Elsewhere, though, Democrats are retaliating, politically and vocationally, against people newly appointed by Pruitt to the same board Wilson is refusing to resign from.

PREVIOUSLY: Scientist Forced from Job after Becoming Trump Admin Advisor

In North Carolina, the state’s Democratic Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality put the Republican previous Secretary – who had taken a demotion to a non-political position in order to keep his job – on administrative leave, and effectively forced his retirement.

The Democrat now in power, Michael Regan, objected to Republican Donald van der Vaart’s acceptance of an appointment to EPA’s Science Advisory Board, and imposed an “administrative action” that sidelined van der Vaart from NC DEQ.

This is the sort of political tit-for-tat Pruitt’s directive seems intended to avoid at EPA.

It remains to be seen how he will respond to the challenges from Wilson and Burger.

**MORE COVERAGE OF EPA ABUSES at LibertyHeadlines.com**

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  • Bill Harrison

    Fire every one. Typical scamming by Demorats and their liberal science experts.

  • Papa Bear

    The Left SCREECHES at just about everything with the exception of what’s in THEIR agenda!!

  • karmicpete

    At core, the left are parasites and government their host. For them little else matters.

    • kbfallon

      Govt. as their host? More like the TAXPAYERS …..There is no honor among thieves!

      • Fed up!

        Bullseye!

    • Tony B

      That is so true. The liberal parasites are only just beginning to feel the harsh reality of truth that is coming their way like a freight train. With 4250 some sealed indictments on the dockets across the nation and many more to come – the reckoning is at hand. Thanks be to our heavenly father. This is Americas last chance to clean house and repent. Truth will win!

    • Fed up!

      We here living in the woods call those ticks. 😂

  • littlesmoke

    Get them gone NOW!

  • C. Scott

    Get rid of the libs/progressives. They all lie and take grant money. Pond scum. Get them out as fast as possible.

    • kep

      Liberal, Progressive, Socialist are ALL euphemisms for COMMUNISTS.

  • John

    The pig trough for these tree hugging, science distorters is driving up. Seems they expect US to fund their crazy cause and campaign of misinformation

    • kbfallon

      But-But…..one more grant awarded to me will finish paying for my vacation home!

      • John

        LOL. No doubt and with a SASQUATCH size “carbon footprint”
        Global Warming doesn’t exist in THEIR neighborhood, just EVERYWHERE else.according to these kooks

  • Gregg Parker

    Love watching them squirm as the new Sheriff and his deputies were out the old school “money for nothing and your perks for free” crowd… Gp get em Pruitt!

    • kbfallon

      Good one….now we need a weekly tv show telling us about newly uncovered scams the dems have been robbing the taxpayers with. Publicize all the thieves and their schemes.

      • Gregg Parker

        Great idea… a REAL REALITY SHOW!

  • Kevin Soravilla

    Too many piglets on the teet

  • Criers

    It is standard ethics actions, {if you advise someone you cannot accept money from them}. If you want your grant leave the advisory board. This type of ethical conflict is prohibited in the private sector it should also stand in the public sector. This refusal only shows the Democrats are unethical.

    • Daniel F. Melton

      Democrats don’t do ethics.

  • David Kledzik

    If she won’t resign………….. Fire her, plain and simple.

  • Teresa Barrett

    It’s funny that this Wilson got money to see if money was being used appropriately to check money spent on studying Lake Erie??? Talk about a major boondoggle!!! The simplicity of conflict of interest seems to be lost on these science liberal cry babies. You can get grants, or you can be on advisory board, not both. It’s like a judge being the prosecutor in the same trial, can’t be done. For supposedly intelligent scientists, these dudes sure are stupid!

    • old27

      And see below.

  • old27

    That directive goes directly to the heart of the continuance of the “eco-warriors,” and no wonder they are fighting for their “rightful due.” They will have to go to work. What a disgrace for such inept, prejudiced and bigoted folk. “WORK, WE ARE RIGHT, AND YOU ARE WRONG, AND WE NEED TO BE PAID FOR OUR DEEP AND INSIGHTFUL OPINIONS.” Blather, BS, and just wrong headed boobs. I wonder what would be revealed if all their bank accounts, including the “offshore investments” were required to be exposed. Fun to think about it.

    • Teresa Barrett

      This should include every other government “agency ” as well as the EPA. I’m sure the corruption is thick in all departments – the Consumer Protection boondoggle is already being investigated. Check out the FDA, TSA, and all the rest of the government alphabet soup!

  • 6PenceOrRye

    Just another way Trump’s people are “draining the swamp” and it’s high time! Kudos to the Trump team!

  • JWH (NRA LIFE)

    The Left hates any removal of any or all of the “corruption generated by Obama”!! Give me more of the same ASAP!!

  • Christian_Prophet

    So Pruitt, instead installed on the advisory boards, CEO’s of the companies being regulated? What Pruitt is doing is destroying the ability of the government to ensure for its citizens clean water, breathable air and clean soil. How foolish to say that scientists who receive grants to study the dirty practices of corporations have a conflict of interest. Now Pruitt has put on the boards those CEO’s with the greatest conflicts of interest. Those CEO’s can live in their gated communities, while we the middle class live in the rest of the country which the CEO’s have polluted. Pruitt has made good bad and bad good.

    • Cosmic

      I totally disagree with your arguments. Apparently you do not understand what ‘conflict of interest’ means.
      Pruitt has my vote to ‘Drain the Swamp’

  • Ken

    What, stop the gravy train for those on the board? WOW, I am amazed (not really) that any government agency or board would allow such a thing. Sylindra (sp) was a big pay off scheme for politicians and supporters. The O administration allowed companies to pay fines to only Democratic organizations to keep from being prosecuted. ALL slimy deals and should be investigated and get our money back. There are probably enough of these to make a dent in at least one years deficit? Let’s make America great again and put a stop to all of this corruption.

  • Lonestarbybirth

    Trump should have fired anyone and everyone even remotely connected to Obama or any of his crooks he put in positions of power !