Scuttling Science | Reveal

Sep 14, 2019

Today’s show looks at the Trump administration’s pattern of pushing expert scientists out of policy discussions.

Our first story examines federal advisory committees — expert panels that advise the federal government on everything from air pollution to clean drinking water. President Trump signed an executive order that will eliminate hundreds of them, and is removing scientists from those that remain. Reveal’s Elizabeth Shogren travels to Capitol Hill to interview an environmental chemist who says the administration’s actions are an assault on science itself. Then host Al Letson interviews Dr. Sacoby Wilson, an environmental health scientist who helps poor communities of color fight against pollution. He serves on an EPA advisory panel that could be eliminated by the Trump executive order.

Our next story looks at the Trump administration’s rollback of Obama era fuel efficiency and emissions standards for cars. Jeff Alson spent more than 40 years at the EPA. He tells the story about the Trump administration justified those rollbacks based on scientific modeling he and many other experts say doesn’t make sense.

Finally, Al talks to Mandy Gunasekara, who helped engineer the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord and the Clean Power Plan. The former senior policy advisor at the EPA defends the Trump administration’s deregulatory approach to the environment, adding that warnings about the dangers of climate change are exaggerated.

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