Trump team plans big cuts to science at EPA

By Timothy Cama, The Hill.

The Trump administration’s transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning major budget cuts, as well as regulatory and scientific overhauls at the agency, according to a new report.

The team’s plan for the EPA identified more than $800 million in planned budget cuts, including to state and tribal assistance grants, climate programs and environmental programs and management, according to Axios

But Myron Ebell, who led the Trump transition team for the EPA, cautioned that the document in question was an initial briefing document, prepared in October— before Election Day—for the transition team.

Ebell, the head of the environment program at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute and the author of the document, said it is not the transition team’s “Action Plan” for the EPA, which was written much later and identified what the team wants to do with the agency. Ebell declined to provide the Action Plan.

The briefing document devotes significant attention to reforming how the EPA uses science.

“EPA does not use science to guide regulatory policy as much as it uses regulatory policy to steer the science,” the document says, according to Axios. “This is an old problem at EPA. In 1992, a blue-ribbon panel of EPA science advisers that [sic] 'science should not be adjusted to fit policy.' But rather than heed this advice, EPA has greatly increased its science manipulation.”