U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), who chairs the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, recently sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy addressing transparency in the agency’s selection process for science advisors.
Specifically, the letter spoke to the nomination and selection process of advisors for the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) and the Science Advisory Board (SAB) and five of its committees. CASAC was created through the Clean Air Act to advise the EPA on National Ambient Air Quality Standards, while the SAB and its committees fall under the Environmental Research, Development and Demonstration Authorization Act.
“As you are aware, the Senate EPW Committee has long conducted oversight of EPA advisory panels,” Inhofe said. “These panels, including the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee and the Science Advisory Board, play a critical role in influencing the agency’s regulatory actions and have significant implications for the next administration. However, circumstances surrounding the recent nomination request and correspondence between EPA and the Senate EPW Committee raise new concerns the agency is not committed to a transparent or meaningful public input process for selecting CASAC and SAB members.”
The Senate has been working to address transparency in the selection process of science advisors since February 2015, including several proposed bills and multiple letters to McCarthy.