The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Elliott Negin,Media Director,

Pruitt's Proposed Science Changes Are a Betrayal of His Responsibilities, Would Put Americans at Risk

Statement by Andrew Rosenberg, Union of Concerned Scientists


Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is expected to announce a new proposal soon to radically limit the types of science that the EPA can use in developing public health and environmental protections. This proposal appears to be similar to the changes that would have resulted from last year's H.R. 1430, a bill sponsored by House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith that was widely criticized by scientific organizations. These changes would make it much harder for the agency to carry out its mission of protecting public health, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS.

"Administrator Pruitt's changes could bar studies that use personal health data and confidential business information from even being considered in EPA policymaking--restricting EPA's work on everything from air pollution to pesticides and making the enforcement of laws like the Clean Air Act nearly impossible. Companies could evade accountability for the pollution they create by declaring information about that pollution a 'trade secret.' This approach has long been pushed by powerful lobbies like the tobacco industry as a way to prevent the federal government from acting on the best available science. Fortunately, this nonsensical and dangerous proposal has never been able to make it out of Congress, but Pruitt seems intent on imposing it anyway.

"Under the guise of 'reforming' science, Pruitt is effectively removing it. And he'd be leaving Americans exposed to serious risks to their health and safety, based on dishonest arguments, and in direct violation of the mission of his agency.

"This is a radical attack on science that will put Americans at risk. It's an abdication by Pruitt of the very basic responsibilities of his job."

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.