EPA Panel Defends Pruitt’s Questioning Of ‘Established Science’ Against Attacks

An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) panel ruled Administrator Scott Pruitt did not violate the agency’s scientific integrity policy for publicly disagreeing with “established science” on global warming.

Office of the Science Advisor head Thomas Sinks wrote EPA’s science integrity policy did not impinge on the “freedom to express one’s opinion about science,” according to a memo obtained by Washington Examiner columnist Philip Wegmann.

It’s a somewhat silent victory for Pruitt and free speech.

“In short, the EPA told the green group to stop trying to silence their director,” Wegmann wrote in a Tuesday column.

The Sierra Club filed a complaint against Pruitt with EPA in March over comments Pruitt made on CNBC. Sierra Club Elena Saxonhouse said Pruitt violated agency policy “by publicly denying that carbon pollution is driving the climate crisis.”

Pruitt told CNBC anchor Joe Kernen he thought “measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact.”

“So no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” Pruitt said before calling for more research into the topic.

The media went wild, and environmentalists were quick to call for Pruitt to resign over expressing his opinions on television.

“Administrator Pruitt’s statements thus not only contradict established science but also the EPA’s efforts to communicate that science to the public,” Saxonhouse wrote in her complaint asking for an investigation be undertaken.

EPA’s Scientific Integrity Panel conducted an investigation but found the Sierra Club was wrong in its interpretation of agency science policy.

The panel found EPA’s scientific integrity policy is meant to foster debate, and the rule encourages those who disagree with certain scientific conclusions to be forward and open about it. It’s not meant to silence dissenters.

“Expressing an opinion about science is not a violation of the EPA Scientific Integrity Policy,” the integrity panel ruled, according to Sink’s memo to the Sierra Club.

“Indeed the Scientific Integrity Policy — in the spirit of promoting vigorous debate and inquiry — specifically encourages employees to express their opinions should the employees disagree with the scientific data, scientific expressions, or scientific conclusions,” the panel rules.

“We also note that, in his remarks, the administrator did not suppress or alter agency scientific findings,” the panel ruled.

Read more at Daily Caller

Comments (3)

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover


    Pruitt has done more to make the EPA more Common Sense then any of the last few green nuts have ever done in the last few decades since the EPA was creeated

  • Avatar

    Al Shelton


    Elena Saxonhouse is another typical “know-it-all” .
    The GHG Theory has never been proven. If so— where is the empirical proof??
    Elena, please answer the following question for me:
    The UN IPCC says that a doubling of CO2 from 400ppm to 800ppm will result in a global temperature rise of about 2C degrees.
    The increase is 400ppm. That is 1 part in 2500.
    How can 1 molecule of CO2 “trap” enough “heat” to raise the temperature of the other 2499 molecules of O2 and N2 2C degrees???

  • Avatar



    You know your country is screwed when freedom of speech is under threat . Left wing eco-anarchist’s would like to shut down anyone who doesn’t drink their cool-aid . No wonder President Trump was elected . It is increasingly apparent the closet Democrats are working to take Trump down .
    Anti-science lobbyist’s are the ones trying to silence rigorous debate and violation of peoples constitutional rights .
    The Sierra club have no right to tell people to shut up . I hope their funding efforts fail .

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