Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web


Published on Monday, April 17, 2017

Trump’s New EPA Sacrifices Science for Industry


Trump’s New EPA Sacrifices Science for Industry

(Image by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is known for identifying harmful pesticides, classifying everyday toxins, and dealing with the country’s pollution and air quality. The agency plays an important role in public health and trying to minimize exposure to hazardous substances. But with Donald Trump in charge, the EPA is now experiencing a steady decline. Congress and new EPA leaders are focusing less on scientific evidence and making it easier for businesses to use substances or practices that are harmful for both humans and the environment.

Proposals to Undercut the EPA

Trump has appointed Scott Pruitt as the EPA’s new leader, even though Pruitt is known as one of the agency’s opponents. In late March, Pruitt rejected a proposed ban on chlorpyrifos, an agricultural pesticide with links to brain damage. Potentially under threat is the EPA’s certifying Safer Choice program that determines which consumer products are free of hazardous substances. The president has also proposed a budget cut of 31% for the EPA.

Other proposed bills would undercut scientific methods and research to help make commerce easier for big industries. The EPA expert advisory panels would be opened up to industry representatives to help formulate policy. However, they would only use the “best available science” which does not always include the most well-researched science. It often excludes research methods that are widely used and delay action.

Republican Rule Over Environmental Regulation

The Honest Act was passed in the House 228-194. This law prevents the EPA from creating regulations based on data that can’t be replicated or isn’t widely available. This poses a problem because it excludes epidemiological research cited in studies. In the past, epidemiological studies were used to ban harmful substances such as leaded gasoline and the pesticide DDT. Leaded gasoline was linked to brain damage in children and DDT had deadly effects on birds (such as eagles) and caused cancer in humans.

The EPA Science Advisory Board Act was approved afterwards, 229-193. This act allows industry representatives to help formulate policies on the EPA’s Science Advisory Board, even without special permission. With this new act, more scientists will be excluded in policy-making in favor of industry. Even scientists who are funded by the EPA will have less say on the Science Advisory Board. Oklahoma Republican Representative, Frank Lucas, believes that the new act “creates a more balanced situation”, but others would disagree.

Other representatives, such as Eddie Bernice Johnson, believe that the EPA’s mission is undercut by these recently passed laws. In a statement Johnson said that the EPA Science Advisory Board Act “makes it easier for industry representatives with conflicts of interest to serve on advisory boards at the EPA while making it harder for scientific experts, all while slowing the regulatory process”. As the ranking Democrat of the committee that oversees the EPA, Johnson is concerned for the EPA’s future.

The Better Evaluation of Science and Technology (BEST) Act decreases the amount of lawsuits filed against government agencies and reduces questions asked regarding the data used to back up regulations. Again, Congress is trying to undercut science to make it easier for industries to carry out business with less environmental regulations. Yogin Kothari from the Union of Concerned Scientists finds this bill problematic because “it could have the effect of excluding newer findings, which may reveal harm undetected by older research”.

Consumers and Environment at Risk

The EPA is now on a downward spiral when it comes to public and environmental health. According to Daniel Rosenberg of the Natural Resources Defence Council, many of the industries that are currently blocking environmental regulations are the same industries who wanted to keep leaded gasoline and DDT on the market. This begs the question… how far are we willing to let the government and industries go before we stand up for the environment and public health?

Rate this article:
No rating
Comments ()Number of views (395)

Author: AThompson

Categories: Blogs, Companies, Animals & Wildlife, Climate & Weather, Money



Search Jobs


«January 2018»

Climate Change & The Poor: A Toxic Relationship

The impacts of climate change are undoubtedly affecting the world on a global scale. However, its effects are far more pronounced among the poor.

Read more

Pre-Historic Ticks

Ticks are some of the most aggravating parasites today but they've been around for millions of years - even long enough to feed on the blood of dinosaurs.

Read more

'The Cove' Nine Years Later

You may remember the uproar surrounding The Cove almost a decade ago. Today, the fishing community at the heart of the film has finally spoken up. 

Read more

Saving A Life

Watch this amazing footage of the rescue of a drowned puppy and the ingenuity, persistence, and passion of the man who saved it.

Read more

Winter Enviro-friendly Tips

This is the time of year for family, food, and holiday cheer. But it's also the season that produces the most waste. Here's how to get green over the holidays.

Read more

A Mesmerizing Flock

Have a look at this visually hypnotizing footage of one of nature's most arresting phenomenons - the flight of the flock of starlings. A gorgeous sight to behold!

Read more

The Controversy of Fracking

Fracking is in fact dangerous. Recent study proves that infants in areas surrounding fracking sites may suffer from permanent health effects and growth problems.

Read more

An Unobstructed Look Inside The Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA has long stood as one of the most powerful defenders of the health and safety of the environment and safety standards. A lot has changed. 

Read more

Master of Deception

Few living species can match the powers of deception and stealth quite like the amazing Zodrian spider - known for wearing the carcasses of their victims.

Read more

The Digital Impact: Bitcoin's Carbon Footprint

Bitcoin is becoming one of the most quickly growing cryptocurrencies today. But this new form of payment is more costly for the environment than you may think. 

Read more

Animals That Fit On Your Finger

There are few things as adorable and heartwarming as pint-sized pets. Here are just some of the most popular ones available today.

Read more

Amazing Fungus Breaks Down Plastic Within a Few Weeks

No doubt about it, plastics are amazing. But they're also particularly bad for the environment as they're tough to break down. A new study has a solution - fungus. 

Read more

Curious Bear Finds The Camera

Getting that perfect wildlife shot can be tough. That's why the BBC Earth team developed innovative spy cameras to catch each amazing moment, like the skiing cam. 

Read more

Baby Sea Turtle Treadmills

Light pollution has become a serious problem of modern living. And for turtles, it's even worse. That's why scientists devised this unique and adorable experiment. 

Read more

Consider This Before Your Next Virtual Shopping Trip

Online shopping has long been held in high regard as the more eco-friendly way to purchase. But e-commerce may actually be worse for our environment than you think.

Read more

Traffic Stopped by Silverback Gorillas

Silverback gorillas are amazing and beautiful creatures to be sure. Watch as a troop is filmed literally stopping traffic crossing a crowded road. 

Read more

China's Ivory Trade Ban: What It Means Going Forward

Elephant numbers have long been on the decline due to poaching for their tusks. But China's new ivory trade ban aims to curb that trend and protect these animals.

Read more

Hungry Deer Meets Delicious Snowman

Tis the season for snowmen to start popping up on front lawns. But don't leave carrots out for too long or you might get a hungry wildlife visitor.

Read more

The Future of Power: Solar Windows

While solar technology is advancing at a breakneck pace, one innovation in the industry is set to change the way we collect power forever - solar windows. 

Read more

Literally Swimming in Drugs

It's a tragedy that animals are trapped in our trash. But it's astounding that one turtle in particular was found wrapped up in over $53 million worth of cocaine.

Read more

Whose Responsible for Your Dirty Water?

Clean drinking water is supposed to be a right of every citizen in the nation. However, this right is often violated - and it isn't getting any better.

Read more

Global Warming & Cold Spells: What's the Connection?

When faced with bitter-cold weather, some people tend to think global warming isn't real. But in fact, global warming just may be the culprit behind dropping temps.

Read more

Spiders: Ancient & Amazing

Spiders have been producing silk for literally hundreds of millions of years. Take a look at just why these creatures and the silk they produce are so amazing. 

Read more

The Threat of Ocean Deoxygenation

We often hear of the widespread effects of pollution on the ocean and the life it holds. But there's another threat beneath the surface - ocean deoxygenation.

Read more

The Sun: An Introduction

The Sun is literally the source of life for everything on the planet earth. But what is that giant ball of light in the sky really? How does it work?

Read more


    Help Us Go Green
    Help Us Go Green