Biden EPA Sued for Illegally Stacking Science Advisory Panels

E&E Legal’s Steve Milloy Similarly Sued Obama’s EPA and He Helped Usher in EPA Transparency Reforms During Trump Administration

For Immediate Release: October 7, 2021

Contact: [email protected] (202-810-2001)

Washington, D.C. –  Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) science advisory panels once again came under scrutiny for their cronyism and inherent conflict of interests with a suit filed today in United States District Court for the District of Columbia by S. Stanley Young, Ph.D.  Young, a CEO of CGStat, was serving as an EPA advisory committee board member when he and his colleagues were purged by the incoming Biden Administration in March 2021 and replaced by members who have received millions of dollars in EPA grants.

The law governing the formation of the advisory committees requires that EPA seek scientific advice from an independent and balanced panel of qualified scientists as part of its policy-making process.  In May 2016, the Energy & Environment Legal Institue (E&E Legal), led by its Senior Policy Fellow Steve Milloy, filed a similar suit regarding the EPA’s EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee Particulate Matter Review Panel for 2015-2018.

In a press release regarding the suit, Milloy said at the time, “The EPA has stacked the panel, which is required by law to be independent and unbiased, with researchers who have received over $190 million in discretionary grants from the EPA, This clearly violates the law and makes a mockery of the notion of ‘independent’ scientific review.”

As a member of President Trump’s Transition Team for the EPA, Milloy helped usher in a series of reforms that aimed to clean up the cronyism and rubber stamping that occurs when members of these important scientific advisory panels are also receiving millions of dollars in grant money from the very same agency.

Based largely on Milloy’s work, in October 2017, then EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced a new directive aimed at ending the practice of advisory committee members feeding at the same trough they’re supposed to be advising.  In a statement announcing the directive, Pruitt noted the directive was to “ensure the independence and transparency and objectivity with respect to the scientific advice that we’re getting at the agency.”

With a return to Soviet-Style governance, it didn’t take Biden long to undo the reform efforts of the Trump Administration.  In March 2021, the new EPA quickly returned to its old ways and got rid of all of its independent external science advisers, one of whom was Dr. Young.  As Milloy noted last month, the EPA “has gone back to its old practice of stocking its peer review boards with agency research grant-recipient cronies who can be counted on to rubber-stamp whatever EPA wants to do. The Biden EPA most recently announced the particulate matter (PM) subpanel for the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC)…17 of the 22 members are current and/or former EPA grantees.”

Regarding the Young suit, Milloy said, “Dr. Stan Young and other applicants were rejected by EPA from panel membership not because they are unqualified, but because they have points of view that might jeopardize EPA’s pre-determined policy plans. The EPA policies at stake rely on of the agency’s most potent regulatory powers and will have major economic and social ramifications for America.”  He added, “The notion that these policies will not get the independent and balanced review Congress intended for them to have is simply outrageous.”

Concluded E&E Legal President Craig Richardson, “When you’re intent on destroying the U.S. economy using environmental regulations to eliminate cheap and affordable energy production – while allowing China unlimited access to these very power sources – the last thing you want is an independent and transparent group of scientists watching over the planned demolition.  The court system is the last avenue left standing between the U.S. and socialism and hopefully, it will act in the way our country’s founders intended.”

The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) is a 501(c)(3) organization that champions responsible and balanced environmentalism, which seeks to conserve the nation’s natural resources while ensuring a stable and robust economy through energy dominance. Specifically, E&E Legal advocates responsible resource development, conservation, sound science, and respect for property rights.