Earlier this week, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced a policy declaring that recipients of EPA grants could no longer serve on several EPA scientific advisory committees. Given the widespread presence of industry representatives and former industry lobbyists in Pruitt’s EPA, and across the Trump administration, the Pruitt announcement was greeted with calls of hypocrisy.
In previous administrations, steps were taken to minimize the role of industry officials in serving in and advising regulatory agencies such as EPA. It is tempting to claim “both sides do it” here, with “it” being barring those who disagree with your preferred policies and opening doors for those who agree with it. But the differences between this administration and its predecessors are real.