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Published On: Thu, Nov 2nd, 2017

Scott Pruitt angers critics by using Bible quote, cleaning house at EPA, choose grant money or review, NOT both

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt announced on Tuesday he was upending the way the agency’s key advisory groups are staffed. After using a Bible quote, Pruitt dropped the news EPA grant recipients will now be barred from serving as an adviser on the boards.

From the Book of Joshua, Pruitt pulled a verse to justify his decision: “Joshua says to the people of Israel: Choose this day whom you are going to serve,” Pruitt said, according to BuzzFeed News.

“This is sort of like the Joshua principle – that as it relates to grants from this agency, you are going to have to choose either service on the committee to provide counsel to us in an independent fashion or chose the grant. But you can’t do both. That’s the fair and great thing to do.”

To summarize: Any researcher who receives EPA grant money is now barred from serving as an adviser on the Scientific Advisory Board, the Clean Air Science Advisory Committee and the Board of Scientific Counselors.

Environmental and scientific groups were quick to condemn the changes, arguing that industry-friendly boards could lead to less rigorous environmental protection. Of course, the counter argument led to Pruitt’s move: scientists on boards could pave the way for rules to help friends or themselves get more grant money.

Pruitt said the new rules would ensure “there’s integrity in the process and that the scientists that are advising us are doing so without any kind of appearance of conflict.”

The head of the Science Advisory Board, Peter Thorne, and the head of the Board of Scientific Counselors, Deborah Swackhamer, said they learned from news reporters that they had been replaced.

“This is really a destruction of the scientific integrity at EPA,” said Thorne, a University of Iowa professor of occupational and environmental health who has served as the head of the Science Advisory Board since 2015. “It’s disheartening to see.”

Some of the responses and outrage seemed to vindicate Pruitt’s move.

“Administrator Pruitt issued a directive yesterday to ensure independence, geographic diversity and integrity in EPA science committees,” an unnamed EPA spokesman said in a statement to HuffPost. “Membership on these three boards consists of qualified scientists who will help strengthen public confidence in EPA science.”

Diversity and unnamed sources were followed by calling Thorne’s replacement a “crony” for Rick Perry.

In a letter to the editor at the NY Times, the writer ended with “Pruitt is opening up the hen house to the foxes as part of his continuing dismantling of environmental regulations and the E.P.A. itself” to which, Trump supporters will likely cheer.

The aforementioned by verse, Joshua 24, is about serving the Lord and NOT evil:

14 “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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