Republicans vote to allow industry reps to join EPA science committee

The House has officially approved a bill to overhaul the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) scientific advisory committee.

The bill changes membership requirements to be a member of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board.  The board will now include more representatives from industry sectors, and have fewer scientists.

The EPA’s Science Advisory Board’s main responsibility is to review the scientific research that is considered by the agency before they rule on potential impacts from proposed legislation and regulations.

A similar bill was passed last week by Congress, and just yesterday, the House approved another bill to limit the EPA’s use of science.

Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), who proposed the bill that later passed on a 229-193 vote, was pleased with the balance that would be achieved by having fewer scientists determine the efficacy of scientific research.

“This is a bill that is built on the policies we should uphold regardless of which side of the political aisle we are on, or who happens to be president. This bill ensures the best experts are free to undertake a balanced and open review of regulatory science.”

Democrats almost unanimously opposed the bill.

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) said the bill would give too much influence to the industries that the EPA is tasked with regulating.

The bill “is designed to harm the EPA’s ability to use science to make informed decisions,” she said. “This is not the best interest of the American public.”

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