Ahead of a long-overdue first appearance yesterday on Capitol Hill, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt claimed he would protect EPA scientists’ right to present their publicly-funded research results at conferences, less than two months after his agency stopped two staffers and one contractor from doing exactly that.
“Procedures have been put in place to prevent such an occurrence in the future,” Pruitt wrote in a letter Wednesday Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). “I am committed to upholding EPA’s Scientific Integrity Policy, which ensures that the agency’s scientific work is of the highest quality, is presented openly and with integrity, and is free from political interference.”
The Hill notes that “Whitehouse and 11 other New England Democrats had written to Pruitt with their concerns about the scientists’ participation” in the event in Whitehouse’s home state.
“After the EPA’s reckless and shortsighted decision to muzzle its own scientists from presenting to the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, we appreciate Administrator Pruitt’s commitment never to let this happen again,” they wrote in a reply to his letter. “We will hold him to that commitment.”