Source: The Intercept
Exxon Mobil May soon have a greater hand in shaping the science used to develop major environmental regulations.
The published list of potential names for the Science Advisory Board and the EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee includes many industry representatives and consultants. The panels are typically composed primarily of independent academics and researchers charged with reviewing agency science and advising the Environmental Protection Agency on major policy decisions.
While industry has always had a voice on those panels, comments from the Trump administration and the potential new appointees suggest the balance may soon change in favor of greater power for regulated companies, particularly the oil and gas industries.
The long list of potential new advisory board members includes officials from Exxon Mobil, Phillips 66, Alcoa, Noble Energy, Total, and the American Chemistry Council, a lobbying group for the chemical industry. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will make the final determination to select the members of the panels.
In a move widely viewed as an attempt to make room for more industry representatives, the EPA in May dismissed at least five academic researchers from their position on the SAB. “The administrator believes we should have people on this board who understand the impact of regulations on the regulated community,” an EPA spokesperson told the New York Times.