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Bush Administration Interfering with EPA Scientists

BDBlue's picture

To the surprise of probably no one, the Bush Administration has been interfering with the career scientists at the EPA.

More than half the Environmental Protection Agency scientists who responded to an independent survey made public yesterday said that they had witnessed political interference in scientific decisions at the agency during the past five years.

The claim comes from a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit advocacy group that sent questionnaires to 5,500 EPA scientists and obtained 1,586 responses. Among the scientists' complaints were that data sometimes were used selectively to justify a specific regulatory outcome and that political appointees had directed them to inappropriately exclude or alter technical information in EPA scientific documents.

I've talked about the damage done to the civil service before and about what awaits our 44th President. This is related. It's not just that the Administration is interfering in science, which is bad enough, but extend that to its logical conclusion. You're a talented scientist who probably has skills in demand in the private sector, how many years do you put up with this kind of thing before you say fuck it and go double your salary? Or if you're a talented scientist looking for a job do you go work here? Would the Bush Administration even hire you? Or would they violate the civil service rules and fill the job with someone who is more amenable to seeing "science" their way?

BTW, it was amazing how quickly Ms. Goodling's admission of violating the civil service rules came and went from our public discourse. It was potentially one of the most revealing things about this administration's power grab, and the long term damage done to the government, and while a lot of folks noted it at the time, it's been largely forgotten or when it's discussed, it's discussed only in relation to DOJ. Because I'm sure the Bush Administration hasn't replicated this strategy anywhere else. And, yes, lambert, I'm trying to put something a bit more encompassing together on it. Heh.

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