Members of Scientific Boards Received $77 Million From EPA While Advising Agency

Pruitt: ‘Whatever science that we’re involved in at the EPA should not be political science’

BY: Elizabeth Harrington From “The Washington Free Beacon”
October 31, 2017 3:25 pm

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt said Tuesday the days of “political science” are over at the agency, announcing a new conflict of interest policy that prevents individuals sitting on EPA scientific boards from receiving grants from the agency.

Under the last three years of the Obama administration, members sitting on just three of the agency’s scientific advisory boards received $77 million in EPA grants. Pruitt said individuals advising in policy and regulatory matters should be completely independent of the EPA.

“These federal advisory committees are very, very important to agencies and how they conduct their business in the rulemaking process,” Pruitt said.

“The EPA grants, we control that and we think it sends important things to the American people that we’re not going to have $77 million in grants going to a certain number of advisers at the same time they are advising about the efficacy of the rules that we’re adopting across the whole spectrum of the agency,” he said.

“Whatever science that we’re involved in at the EPA should not be political science,” Pruitt said.

The directive will go into effect immediately.

The EPA is finalizing appointments to three of its scientific advisory boards: Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC), the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), and the Science Advisory Board.

Earlier this year the agency broadened its application process, soliciting applications from underrepresented states.

Pruitt said large geographic areas like the Midwest have not been represented on the advisory boards. For instance, no members were from West Virginia, Montana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, North Dakota, Nebraska, and other states.

The new pool of appointments, which will be announced in the coming week, will include members from EPA regions 6, 7, and 8. Those regions, which cover Dallas, Kansas City, and Denver, previously did not include a single representative on CASAC.

Pruitt said current members who are asked to continue their service and have received EPA grants would have to forgo grant funding if they stay on the board.

“You can choose service on the committee or choose the grant, you can’t do both,” Pruitt said. “And that’s the fair thing to the American people.”

The EPA will continue its ethics review for all members appointed to advisory boards, which addresses conflict of interest on whether applicants have received funding from third parties or industry.

FEMA is a powerful partner in Puerto Rico’s recovery

By LUIS G. RIVERA-MARÍN @LuisRiveraMarin

October 30, 2017 8:51 PM

There has been so much speculation about the Trump administration’s response to the most devastating natural disaster in Puerto Rico since hurricane San Felipe crisscrossed the island in 1928. While it is understandable that our constituents are impatient and remain shell-shocked by Hurricane Maria’s fury and the road toward recovery, the vast majority of Americans in Puerto Rico are grateful and optimistic about the future.

This sentiment is predominantly anchored in the rapid response of the federal agencies pre- and post-storm. To say otherwise is to play politics or, worse, to dabble in partisan deception to further personal agendas. Of the agencies that have taken part in rebuilding Puerto Rico, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is the one I’ll single out after an experience that reconfirmed that local leadership at the municipal level is a must in order for FEMA’s mission to succeed.

First, it is important to contextualize how long it has been since our island last saw something akin to Hurricane Maria. The last time we found ourselves in such a humanitarian quagmire, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was about to be elected governor of New York, Adolf Hitler was a political aspirant in Germany, commercial aviation was a newly regulated enterprise, and Puerto Ricans had been made U.S. citizens a mere decade before.

Recently, I visited the town of Patillas after being informed of the potential mishandling of FEMA’s supplies delivered for the roughly the town’s 20,000 citizens. Patillas sits in the southeast, where Maria made landfall. Few words can convey my feelings when seeing hundreds of FEMA boxed meals and bottled water inside a large dumpster, exposed to rain and rodents, and vermin. While thousands are in need of these basic necessities, supplies, timely and efficiently delivered by FEMA, go to waste because of negligent, and perhaps criminal, conduct by local leaders. Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has already made it clear that such behavior will have legal consequences. Moreover, additional measures have been implemented to guarantee that aid gets where, when and to those in need.

Reviewing the aid provided by the federal government, specifically by FEMA, under the steady leadership of Administrator Brock Long, reveals that Washington’s response has and will be there for the U.S. citizens residing on the island. While numbers and statistics cannot convey information in the same manner as language or passionate political rhetoric, they simply do not lie. Data is available and verifiable. Long has personally verified his corps’ performance through his various visits to Puerto Rico during this emergency. Just like any other government entity, FEMA, in the past, may have performed both under and over par, it has excelled in a summer rivaled by few in terms of natural emergencies across the nation.

At present, FEMA, in coordination with other federal agencies hands out about 600,000 meals and 742,000 liters of water a day. It has conducted more than 700 airdrops in isolated areas of the island; removed 10,000 cubic yards of debris (which would fill Yankee stadium seven times over); and distributed some 42,000 tarps. To date, there are 17,000 federal employees throughout the island, 2,000 medical staff, and 750 pharmacies providing medicine, free of charge, under the emergency prescription-assistance program.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has purchased 50,000 poles and 6,500 miles of cable to restore our electric grid. More than 640,000 citizens have signed up for assistance and have received at least $87 million in aid. Some 6,100 citizens have received medical attention by first responders and, on a positive note, the first baby girl after Maria was born on board the USS Comfort. Her name is Sara Victoria. Sara, from the Hebrew root for “princess” and Victoria, from the Latin root for “conquer”.

Puerto Rico will emerge brighter than before. Make no mistake about it. And we will do so, hand in hand, with our federal brethren, who have been bearing the brunt and weathering the winds and rain next to us since Day One. As a proud American, for that I am grateful.

Luis G. Rivera-Marín is lieutentant governor and secretary of state of Puerto Rico.

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‘Organizing For Action’

New York Post on OFA ‘Organizing For Action’ An article from the New York Post:

I do not understand how living in a country with its democracy established over 200 years ago, and now, for the first time in history, suddenly we have one of our former presidents set up a group called “Organizing for Action” (OFA).

OFA is 30,000+ strong and working to disrupt everything that our current president’s administration is trying to do. This organization goes against our Democracy, and it is an operation that will destroy our way of governing. It goes against our Constitution, our laws, and the processes established over 200 years ago. If it is allowed to proceed then we will be living in chaos very much like third world countries are run. What good is it to have an established government if it is not going to be respected and allowed to follow our laws?

If you had an army some 30,000 strong and a court system stacked over the decades with judges who would allow you to break the laws, how much damage could you do to a country? We are about to find out in America!

Our ex-president said he was going to stay involved through community organizing and speak out on the issues and that appears to be one post-administration promise he intends to keep. He has moved many of his administration’s top dogs over to Organizing for Action.

OFA is behind the strategic and tactical implementation of the resistance to the Trump Administration that we are seeing across America, and politically active courts are providing the leverage for this revolution.

OFA is dedicated to organizing communities for “progressive” change. Its issues are gun control, socialist healthcare, abortion, sexual equality, climate change, and of course, immigration reform.

OFA members were propped up by the ex-president’s message from the shadows: “Organizing is the building block of everything great we have accomplished Organizers around the country are fighting for change in their communities and OFA is one of the groups on the front lines. Commit to this work in 2017 and beyond.”

OFA’s website says it obtained its “digital” assets from the ex-president’s re-election effort and that he inspired the movement. In short, it is the shadow government organization aimed at resisting and tearing down the Constitutional Republic we know as AMERICA

Paul Sperry, writing for the New York Post, says, “The OFA will fight President Donald Trump at every turn of his presidency and the ex-president will command them from a bunker less than two miles from the White House.”

Sperry writes that, “The ex-president is setting up a shadow government to sabotage the Trump administration through a network of non-profits led by OFA, which is growing its war chest (more than $40 million) and has some 250 offices nationwide. The OFA IRS filings, according to Sperry, indicate that the OFA has 32,525 (and growing) volunteers nationwide. The ex-president and his wife will oversee the operation from their home/ office in Washington DC.

Think about how this works. For example: Trump issues an immigration executive order; the OFA signals for protests and statements from pro-immigrant groups; the ACLU lawyers file lawsuits in jurisdictions where activist judges obstruct the laws; volunteers are called to protest at airports and Congressional town hall meetings; the leftist media springs to action in support of these activities; the twitter sphere lights up with social media; and violence follows. All of this happens from the ex-president’s signal that he is heartened by the protests.

If Barack Obama did not do enough to destroy this country in the 8 years he was in office, it appears his future plans are to destroy the foundation on which this country has operated on for the last 241 years.

If this does not scare you, then we are in worse trouble than you know.

So, do your part. You have read it, so at least pass this on so others will know what we are up against. We are losing our country and we are so compliant. We are becoming a “PERFECT TARGET” for our enemy!

Published: September 17, 2017, 6:52 pm This extract was taken from “LOTTERY POST”

See OFA’s Website: