Why Is the EPA Reaching Out?

  • Published on April 28th, 2008

epa-seal-jj-002.jpgThe Environmental Protection Agency has begun a “National Dialogue” about what information the public needs from the agency and how the agency can better provide that information.

Interested parties can now let the agency know what they think on EPA’s new interactive Web page (I’d love to a fly on that digital wall). Additionally, agency officials will be made available occasionally online for interactive chat sessions. The first of these was held last Thursday, when EPA’s chief information officer Molly O’Neill was made available for answering questions interactively online.

It is no secret that, under the Bush administration, the EPA has cut back on information available to the public through channels like the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and the EPA libraries. The administration has also been under tremendous scrutiny for interference with EPA science on several separate occasions throughout the last seven years. And in a recent report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, 900 employees of the EPA feel like their work has been interfered with for political reasons; sixty-percent of those who responded to the Union’s survey encountered some form of executive manipulation.

With new evidence of tampering and data manipulation continuing to mount on what seems like a daily basis, the “national dialogue” could not have come a minute later – that is if the EPA wants to salvage any shred of its rapidly waning legitimacy.

The initiative may indicate a desire on behalf of the EPA to repair the bruised relationships between the agency and the public, and to restore public confidence in the EPA’s ability to perform its duties without political interference from the White House. And while I applaud this effort, perhaps the EPA could adopt their “national dialogue” as a standard practice, as opposed to closing it at the end of June – as if there will be nothing left to say come July.

Related Posts:

Bush Administration Just Says ‘No’ to Science” :: Red, Green, and Blue (4/2008)

Thank You Bush for Weakening Smog Limits” :: Red, Green, and Blue (3/2008)

About the Author

is the founder of ecopolitology and the executive editor at LiveOAK Media, a media network about the politics of energy and the environment, green business, cleantech, and green living. When not reading, writing, thinking or talking about environmental politics with anyone who will listen, Tim spends his time skiing in Colorado's high country, hiking with his dog, and getting dirty in his vegetable garden.

2 comments

  • What a great deal! This administration manipulates agency science and decisions to the benefit of its buddies, and when the agency they really don't like anyway gets discredited, it is icing on the cake! Citizens need to remember that there are still very good people working for the EPA, and we all need to push back on the source of the problem, the political apparatus of the Bush White House. A new resident in the White House will help a lot too!

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