Dozens Of Trump Appointees Abruptly Terminated Via Biden Admin


As the Biden administration continues to work to undo some of the chaos of the Trump era, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan has announced that more than 40 outside experts appointed by Trump to serve on advisory boards at the agency are getting removed from their positions. These removals mean that input from potentially biased sources who were put in power during the Trump era will no longer factor into the EPA’s decision-making process surrounding critical issues like air pollution-related regulations.

The advisory boards in question include the Science Advisory Board (SAB) and Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), and as summarized by The Washington Post, opponents of the Trump era appointees have stated that the boards “tilted too heavily toward regulated industries [while] their positions sometimes contradicted scientific consensus.” As Regan put it:

‘Resetting these two scientific advisory committees will ensure the agency receives the best possible scientific insight to support our work to protect human health and the environment.’

Among other available examples of Trump era corruption, Louis Anthony “Tony” Cox was one of those serving on the clean air board — and his past experience includes time working for the oil industry. How could people with resumes like that be seriously expected to fairly deal with critical public health issues?

At one point while on the job, Cox complained that the EPA’s procedures for understanding the potential positive public health impacts from regulations on smog were “unreliable, logically unsound, and inappropriate.” Just last year, Trump era EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler re-appointed Cox to a second three-year term leading the air pollution-tied board. During the Trump era, that board argued against strengthening regulations regarding ozone pollution — and the agency went along with the recommendation, even though pollution can put marginalized communities at risk.

For a time, the Trump administration banned scientists who received grant money from the EPA from serving on one of the advisory boards, and the net effect of this policy was that a slew of independent scientists were disqualified, leaving industry-connected experts — who presumably wouldn’t need EPA grant money because of their own private funding — in their place. A federal court ordered the removal of that policy that disadvantaged grant recipients, and Trump’s team complied.

Regan also recently asked EPA staff members to “bring any items of concern” to agency officials handling efforts to fix initiatives from the Trump era that discarded science in favor of political considerations. As Regan pointedly put it:

‘When politics drives science rather than science informing policy, we are more likely to make policy choices that sacrifice the health of the most vulnerable among us.’

The Trump administration routinely prioritized business concerns over those of the general population.