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house Bill H.R. 1029

Reforming the EPA’s Science Advisory Board

Argument in favor

This bill will enhance the diversity of thought and perspective on the EPA's Science Advisory Board. Also reduces conflicts of interest and expands opportunities for public involvement.

Inez's Opinion
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03/14/2015
All for letting the public have an opinion on issues of environment that directly affect them. The way EPA is set up now is narrowly focused.
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Peter's Opinion
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03/10/2015
This board should be a revolving door of knowledge,NO one should be permenently employed by this very corrupt agency.
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Joe's Opinion
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03/15/2015
Anyone with a grant has a vested interest and will only protect their grant.
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Argument opposed

Keeping scientists who have received EPA grants off of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board would dilute the pool of talent available to consult on environmental issues.

JordanForeman's Opinion
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03/04/2015
I would not trust non-scientific minds with selecting which scientific minds get to contribute to the EPA.
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Steven's Opinion
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01/01/2016
Science isn't debatable, it's hard fact! It's not validated by whether you agree with it or not. The board needs no revision or outside influence from energy companies.
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Jim's Opinion
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03/18/2015
Scientists should not be put in the position of either taking an EPA grant or being on this Advisory Board. They should be able to do both, and it's not a conflict of interest.
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What is House Bill H.R. 1029?

This bill would revise the process by which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chooses members for their Science Advisory Board (SAB).

Through expanded disclosure requirements (among others), this bill changes the guidelines for participation in the board, and terms of office. As the CBO explains
"Some of the bill’s proposed changes include requiring EPA to solicit nominations from the public and from relevant federal agencies, such as the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, and Health and Human Services. Nominees also would be required to file a written report disclosing certain financial relationships and interests. Additionally, the bill would require EPA to make risk or hazard assessments available to the SAB and to publish the board’s advice, comments, and views in the Federal Register."
Conduct guidelines would also be created for the Board that include:
  • Avoiding making non-scientific policy determinations or recommendations.

  • Communicating uncertainties in scientific findings and conclusions.

  • Allowing dissenting members’ views to be expressed.

  • Periodic reviews to ensure that the Board’s activities address the most important scientific issues affecting the EPA.

Impact

Members of the public who want to make a public comment on environmental reviews, members of the Science Advisory Board, people nominated for SAB positions, and the EPA.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1029

$2.00 Million
The CBO estimates that implementing the proposed changes would cost less than $500,000 annually, or about $2 million over the 2015-2020 period. This funding would primarily be used for additional personnel and related administrative expenses.

More Information

In-Depth:

The EPA’s Science Advisory Board was created in 1978 to offer scientific advice to the Administrator of the EPA — reviewing technical information, research programs, and consulting the Administrator as necessary. Much of the Board’s research is done by subcommittees that are focused on specific issues related to environmental science.


A study of the SAB conducted by the Congressional Research Service found that over half of the SAB’s members received research grants from the EPA through their primary workplace. These grants, and concerns about Board members expressing strong policy preferences when they had only been asked for impartial analysis — have led to calls for reforms to eliminate conflicts of interest.


A previous version of this bill that made it through the House was threatened with a veto by the White House, saying that the bill would: 
"negatively affect the appointment of experts and would weaken the scientific independence and integrity of the SAB."

Media:

Sponsoring Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) Press Release

CBO Cost Estimate

Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Statement

The Washington Post (Opposed)

Oklahoma Energy Today (In Support)

Law 360

(Photo Credit: Flickr user NASA Goddard Photo and Video)

AKA

EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2015

Official Title

To amend the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 to provide for Scientific Advisory Board member qualifications, public participation, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Environment and Public Works
  • The house Passed March 17th, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 236 Yea / 181 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
    IntroducedFebruary 24th, 2015

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    All for letting the public have an opinion on issues of environment that directly affect them. The way EPA is set up now is narrowly focused.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    I would not trust non-scientific minds with selecting which scientific minds get to contribute to the EPA.
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    Science isn't debatable, it's hard fact! It's not validated by whether you agree with it or not. The board needs no revision or outside influence from energy companies.
    Like (12)
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    Share
    Scientists should not be put in the position of either taking an EPA grant or being on this Advisory Board. They should be able to do both, and it's not a conflict of interest.
    Like (10)
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    Science is science and your "opinions" have no place in it.
    Like (8)
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    Seems to me this bill seeks to further politicize the agency. I see all kinds of problems with this bill.
    Like (8)
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    I'm supposed to let a bunch of dead-eyed white guys s**t all over absolutely everything I stand for?
    Like (6)
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    This is clearly another attempt by the GOP to minimize the power of the EPA. We are in a climate crisis right now. This sort of legislation is not what our country needs right now.
    Like (5)
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    Abolish the EPA and return state power.
    Like (4)
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    This board should be a revolving door of knowledge,NO one should be permenently employed by this very corrupt agency.
    Like (4)
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    This bill is another anti-science attack on necessary and sensible regulatory bodies.
    Like (3)
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    "Most of these rules are based on controversial scientific assertions and conclusions, so it is critical they be reviewed by a balanced panel of experts in an open and transparent manner. This bill directs EPA to undertake reforms to do just that.” - Solutions to climate change may be controversial, but the science isn't. Balanced panel of experts should primarily include experts in the environment, this isn't biased science the science just happens to support the left. 50/50 split is unbalanced when the scientific split is 97/3 (roughly).
    Like (3)
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    Anyone with a grant has a vested interest and will only protect their grant.
    Like (3)
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    Letting people who aren't scientists draw scientific conclusions. How about no. --- And changing how board members are selected costs $2 million dollars???? What the actual fuck.
    Like (2)
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    A mixture of factors, good and bad, that would cost 2M without significant improvem
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    If the corporate interests in the Republican Party feel like they can simply stack the team with "Scientists" in their favor instead of researching the facts then they simply stall the inevitable. Congress needs to be debating our reaction to climate change not debating the fact that it exists.
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    Yes, reform it to include folks who do not have any ties to an entity who benefits from environmental issues. Conflict of interests are killing this planet.
    Like (1)
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    This all boils down to the same ridiculous argument, that somehow 97% of the scientist in the world are wrong. It is a power play for the new incoming head of the EPA and his cronies to go back to straight oil and gas consumption. This is just their conniving way to get there.
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    This is a way for our "representatives" to discredit scientists and scientific research, we need to say NO. I live in Morgan Griffith's district, a rabid climate change denier. He voted "yes" soI vote NO.
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    Some of the provisions of this bill are generally useful, however, packaged as they are, this seems like nothing but a power grab.
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