Pruitt About to Take Next Step in Banning Science at the EPA

Serrano, Shutterstock/ ZUMA Press

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This is why Scott Pruitt is able to get away with acting like he’s the Sun King:

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is expected to propose a rule Tuesday that would establish new standards for what science could be used in writing agency regulations, according to individuals briefed on the plan. It is a sweeping change long sought by conservatives.

The rule, which Pruitt has described in interviews with select media over the past month, would only allow EPA to consider studies for which the underlying data are made available publicly. Advocates describe this approach as an advance for transparency, but critics say it would effectively block the agency from relying on long-standing, landmark studies linking air pollution and pesticide exposure to harmful health effects.

….Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy, said in an email that Pruitt’s move would expand on his earlier decision to change the standards for who can serve on EPA’s advisory committees….“First, they came after the agency’s independent science advisers, and now, they’re going after the science itself,” Rosenberg said. “What is transparent is the unabashed takeover of EPA leadership by individuals who have demonstrated disinterest in helping communities combat pollution by using the best available science.”

As long as he keeps doing stuff like this, conservatives will let him get away with anything. I imagine Pruitt’s next step is to ban the use of science entirely because it so obviously has anti-industry bias. And after all, doesn’t EPA stand for Emitter Protection Agency?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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