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Inhofe Says EPA Chief is Right in Ending Conflicts of Interest

Even before Scott Pruitt announced an end to EPA grants awarded to scientists who act on EPA science advisory committees, his plan was applauded by Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe.

As a former 8-year chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Inhofe appreciated the move.

“Administrator Pruitt’s directive to increase transparency and impartiality at the EPA is welcome news,” said the Senator in a statement.

“When science advisors are receiving millions of dollars from the very agency they are influencing, serious concerns are raised about the independence of those scientists and call into question the integrity of the process as a whole, something the EPA’s own Peer-Review Handbook recognizes,” he added.

As recent as last week, Sen. Inhofe praised Pruitt in a speech on the Senate floor and said he anticipated Pruitt making the announcement.

“I’m glad he’s announced an end to this policy and practice,” said the Senator.

Inhofe has been a long-time critic of EPA science advisors also being recipients of tens of millions of dollars in grants. He began urging the EPA in 2011 to end the practice. In April of last year, he wrote then EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy calling for greater transparency and public input on EPA appointments to scientific panels.