Top EPA Official ‘Bullied’ Scientist to Change Congressional Testimony
Scott Pruitt testifies during his Senate confirmation hearing for EPA administrator, January 2017.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) chief of staff pressured the leader of its Board of Scientific Counselors to change her congressional testimony to downplay the impact of the agency’s mass dismissal of scientists from the board, the New York Times reports.
According to emails obtained by the Times, EPA chief of staff Ryan Jackson requested that Dr. Deborah Swackhamer, a retired science and public policy professor, keep to agency “talking points” on the dismissals ahead of a May 23 appearance before the House Science Committee.
Jackson also requested Swackhamer tell the committee a “decision had not yet been made” on final dismissals, despite notices being sent to multiple scientists earlier that month.
“I was stunned that he was pushing me to ‘correct’ something in my testimony,” Swackhamer told the Times. “I was factual, and he was not. I felt bullied.”
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