On May 8 a woman few Americans have heard of, working in a federal post that even fewer know exists, summoned a select group of 45 people to a June meeting in Washington. They were almost exclusively representatives of liberal activist groups. The invitation explained they were invited to develop “future plans for scientific integrity” at the Environmental Protection Agency.
Meet the deep state. That’s what conservatives call it now, though it goes by other names. The administrative state. The entrenched governing elite. Lois Lerner. The federal bureaucracy. Whatever the description, what’s pertinent to today’s Washington is that this cadre of federal employees, accountable to no one, is actively working from within to thwart Donald Trump’s agenda.
There are few better examples than the EPA post of Scientific Integrity Official. (Yes, that is an actual job title.) The position is a legacy of Barack Obama, who at his 2009 inaugural promised to “restore science to its rightful place” — his way of warning Republicans that there’d be no more debate on climate change or other liberal environmental priorities. …
Politicizing the science bureaucracy:
In 2013 the EPA hired Francesca Grifo, longtime activist at the far-left Union of Concerned Scientists. Ms. Grifo had long complained that EPA scientists were “under siege” … on everything from “mercury pollution to groundwater contamination to climate science.”
As Scientific Integrity Official, Ms. Grifo would have the awesome power to root out all these meddlesome science deniers. …
And get this: “Her job is not a political appointment,” the Science article continues, “so it comes with civil service protections.” Here was a bureaucrat with the authority to define science and shut down those who disagreed, and she could not be easily fired, even under a new administration.
Ms. Grifo perhaps wasn’t too busy in the Obama years, since EPA scientists were given carte blanche to take over the economy. She seems to have been uninterested when EPA scientists used secret meetings and private email to collude with environmental groups—a practice somewhat lacking in scientific integrity.
She has been busier these past few months. In March the Sierra Club demanded that the EPA’s inspector general investigate whether the agency’s newly installed administrator, Scott Pruitt, had violated policy by suggesting carbon dioxide might not be the prime driver of global warming. The inspector general referred the matter to . . . the Scientific Integrity Official. So now an unelected, unappointed activist could pass judgment on whether the Senate-confirmed EPA chief is too unscientific to run his own agency. So much for elections.
Drain the swamp.
hat-tip Scott of the Pacific