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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Smell the Sizzle -- Senate Grills EPA Official

By Keith Schmitz

One of the legacies of the Bush Administration has been a total disrespect for science. As we all know, the facts have a liberal bias.

Tonight on C-Span viewers watched the Democratic half of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee query George Gray, EPA Research & Development Assistant Administration about the administration's policy towards scientists and science at the EPA, and its shortcomings in both environmental and people protection.

Fortunately for him the GOP members lovingly fed him marshmallows.

This hapless man had to defend:

  • The rejection by EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson of 1,700 peer-reviewed scientific studies and the unanimous recommendations of its own advisory committees when he set the new ozone standard.

  • The forced resignation of EPA regional administrator Mary Gade, who had been investigating dioxin contamination in Michigan by Dow Chemical.

  • Closed meetings with the White House Office of Management and Budget and other government agencies when the EPA considers the risks from toxic chemicals. Democratic senators said the closed meetings were an opportunity for interference from government officials and industry groups.

  • And the most disturbing --The Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental group, surveyed some 5,500 EPA scientists last year and found the agency was "under siege from political pressures," Francesca Grifo, a senior scientist with the group, told the Senate panel. She said 1,586 scientists completed the surveys, and 889 of them said they'd experienced at least one incident of political interference in the past five years.

Gee, maybe the next Democratic administration should appoint Jane Fonda Secretary of Defense.

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