BREAKING: Trump Hit With Another New Lawsuit; His Unhinged Response Is Sure To Come

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In his first year in office, Donald Trump has made it fairly clear that he is no friend of the environment. After only a few months of being sworn in, Trump implemented various measures that ran contrary to environmental protections, such as issuing memos to hasten the development of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, making Scott Pruitt, an enemy of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief of the organization, and dismantling various Obama-era climate change enactments via executive orders. This, along with an array of other actions, was just in his first three months.

In the most recent attempt by the Trump administration to thwart any environmental or scientific progress in the country, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt rolled out a new policy change which restricts scientists who receive EPA grants from serving on the advisory boards of the organization. The policy impacts a vast range of scientists and academics who receive these grants as a means of funding their research, leaving those advisory seats now open to numerous corporate and industry-related organizations.

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According to a report by ScienceMag,

‘Pruitt said the new policy was designed to prevent a conflict of interest. “When we have members of those committees that received tens of millions of dollars in grants at the same time that they are advising this agency on rulemaking, that is not good,” Pruitt said.’

Although the EPA chief’s logic is somewhat relevant in the context of interest groups and lobbyists, what he fails to consider is the fact that the scientists who receive the funding are not benefitting themselves with the money, but rather allocating the millions to their expensive research projects. The conflict of interest in which he cites, holds no relevance in this regard, as there is no conflict when the money does not go into their own pockets.

A non-profit organization, Protect Democracy, recently filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the Trump administration on behalf of the Union of Concerned Scientists. In doing so, the organization is alleging that the newfound policy is in direct violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and is an outright attack against independent science itself.

As has been a key component of the Trump’s agenda, the Union criticized the new legislation as making it easier for the administration to further dismantle any progress that has recently been made in fields of climate change, public health, and other vital scientific advancements.

The EPA, under Pruitt, announced last year that this policy to ban grant-receiving scientists would be forthcoming. If placed into action, the EPA will see a vast reduction in the number of unbiased and non-profiting scientists from advising the agency on environmental stability, which is likely to leave the seats open to corporate interest groups to lobby in their own favors. Such an initiative is likely to further Trump’s anti-environment agenda, significantly increasing the damage done by corporate and industry-related activities throughout the global community.

Featured Image by Getty Images

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