Press Releases

Bonamici, Beyer Lead 96 Colleagues in Opposing Plans to Eliminate the EPA’s Office of the Science Advisor

f t # e
Washington, October 18, 2018 | comments

Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Ranking Member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Environment Subcommittee, and Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), Ranking Member of the Science Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee, led 96 of their colleagues in calling on Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler to abandon his plans to dissolve the Agency’s independent office for scientific analysis.

The Office of the Science Advisor (OSA) is charged with standardizing scientific practices, investigating allegations of inappropriate political interference or bias in science, providing objective advice to the Administrator, and implementing the EPA’s scientific integrity policy. In the EPA’s most recent attack on science, Wheeler recently announced his intention to dissolve the OSA and merge its staff with the Office of Science Policy.

“This unnecessary and counterproductive consolidation will undermine scientific integrity, jeopardize bedrock public health and environmental standards, and endanger the EPA’s ability to fulfill its mission of protecting human health and the environment,” the members wrote in the letter.

“The EPA’s proposed changes to the OSA appear to be yet another attempt to diminish and dismiss the role of scientists,” the members continued. “The continued efforts to eliminate the role of science at the EPA will have chilling consequences for every person who benefits from clean air and clean water, particularly and disproportionately young children, seniors, and the health-impaired.”

“At a time when the world is facing the consequences of climate change and extreme weather patterns and toxic substances continue to challenge access to clean air and water, it is striking that the EPA would even consider shying away from the use of robust science,” they wrote. “Rather than sidelining science from the policymaking process, we urge you to uphold your commitment to include Agency scientists in the EPA’s work, recognize the value of scientific integrity, and maintain an autonomous Office of the Science Advisor.”

To fulfill its mission to protect public health and the environment, the EPA needs a foundation of independently verifiable science. The creation of the OSA, independent of the EPA’s program offices, was an essential step in recognizing the value of independent scientific analysis.

In addition to Bonamici and Beyer, the letter was signed by: Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Zoe Lofgren, Elizabeth H. Esty, Marc Veasey, Jerry McNerney, Bill Foster, Mark Takano, Colleen Hanabusa, Charlie Crist, Scott H. Peters, Debbie Dingell, Gerald E. Connolly, Brendan F. Boyle, Henry C. "Hank" Johnson, Jr., Nydia M. Velázquez, Tim Ryan, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Yvette D. Clarke, Derek Kilmer, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Mike Quigley, Cheri Bustos, Salud Carbajal, Adam Smith, James P. McGovern, Rick Larsen, Gwen Moore, Jared Huffman, Carolyn B. Maloney, Alcee L. Hastings, Alan Lowenthal, Judy Chu, Brenda L. Lawrence, A. Donald McEachin, Barbara Lee, Marcia L. Fudge, Jackie Speier, Grace Meng, Albio Sires, Jamie Raskin, Mark Pocan, Adriano Espaillat, Mark DeSaulnier, Jerrold Nadler, Mike Doyle, Daniel T. Kildee, Pramila Jayapal, Jimmy Panetta, José E. Serrano, Denny Heck, Betty McCollum, Kathy Castor, Peter Welch, John Lewis, Ro Khanna, Ann McLane Kuster, Gregory W. Meeks, Emanuel Cleaver II, Stephen F. Lynch, Ruben J. Kihuen, Susan A. Davis, Tom Suozzi, David E. Price, Bill Pascrell, Jr., Peter DeFazio, Marcy Kaptur, Raúl M. Grijalva, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Frederica S. Wilson, Sheila Jackson Lee, Bobby L. Rush, Darren Soto, Earl Blumenauer, Katherine Clark, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Ruben Gallego, Eliot L. Engel, Brian Higgins, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Jan Schakowsky, Robert A. Brady, Wm. Lacy Clay, Anna G. Eshoo, David N. Cicilline, Rosa L. DeLauro, Keith Ellison, Eleanor Holmes Norton, John Yarmuth, Scott H. Peters, Dina Titus, Joseph Kennedy III, James R. Langevin, Carol Shea-Porter, John Garamendi, Ben Ray Luján, and Diana DeGette.

The full text of the letter is available here.
f t # e