In yet another sign of how this Republican administration has no interest in science expertise, the New York Times reports that the Environmental Protection Agency will get rid of its Office of the Science Advisor, a position that existed specifically to educate the head of the EPA on research affected health and the environment.
I guess it makes sense with conservative Christians in power within the government. Who needs a science advisor when you treat science as a giant conspiracy against your view of the world?
The EPA justified the decision by quoting the current advisor saying the position was redundant.
Asked about the E.P.A.’s plans, John Konkus, a spokesman for the agency, emailed a prepared statement from the science adviser, Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, in which she described the decision to dissolve the office as one that would “combine offices with similar functions” and “eliminate redundancies.”
That would be more believable if science weren’t under attack from every angle under Republican rule. The consolidation move would put “at least two more managerial layers” between the department’s top scientist and the EPA’s current Trump-appointed leader Andrew Wheeler.
Michael Mikulka, who heads a union representing about 900 E.P.A. employees, said, “Clearly, this is an attempt to silence voices whether it’s in the agency’s Office of Children’s Health or the Office of the Science Advisor to kill career civil servants’ input and scientific perspectives on rule-making.”
At a time when we need experts weighing in on any number of policy matters and regulations, finding new ways to get good advice out of the way should be troubling to everyone. I suppose it could be worse: They could always bring in more “advisors” whose understanding of science boils down to “Noah built a boat” or whose history, like Wheeler, involves fighting against what scientists have been saying, but if that’s too overtly political, then finding a way to get credible advice out of the way has the same effect. And most people will never notice until it’s too late.
(Screenshot via YouTube. Thanks to Brian for the link)