House Tells EPA: ‘No Science Required’
Environment, Russia

House Tells EPA: ‘No Science Required’

A New Effort to Force Release of Trump’s Tax Returns

Climate change deniers. The U.S. House passed a bill that Wednesday would handicap the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to use science to write regulations. The so-called HONEST Act, H.R. 1430, sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), would allow the EPA to use only science that is publicly available. That would keep the agency from using studies unless all the raw data, models, codes and other materials were available to the public. Climate change denier Smith said this will ensure the EPA uses “sound science.” The Union of Concerned Scientists called Smith’s bill nonsensical and “a dishonest proposal” that is “a dangerous threat to science at the EPA.”

Trump taxes. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Tex.) tried for the third time to get Trump’s tax returns. Doggett supported a resolution that would direct the Treasury secretary to provide Trump’s federal tax returns to Congress. The House Ways and Means Committee voted Tuesday against compelling the Internal Revenue Service to release Trump’s taxes.  “The cover-up will eventually be uncovered,” Doggett said. “It is just a question of how long it will go on.” DCReport.org revealed Trump’s 2005 form 1040 two weeks ago.

‘Sound science’ again. Trump’s EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, has overruled the agency’s chemical safety experts who had urged that the Environmental Protection Agency ban using the insecticide chlorpyrifos on farms. Exposure to the insecticide can harm children and farmworkers. Pruitt, an industry enabler, said the EPA is now using “sound science.” Patti Goldman of Earthjustice said her organization will fight Pruitt’s decision in court.

Flights of the fertilizer king. Some of the unexplained sightings of a Russian oligarch’s airplane alongside Donald Trump’s campaign plane may have an explanation after all. The family trust of Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, also known as the Fertilizer King, has invested in a billion-dollar company in Concord, N.C., called Alevo. The company is headquartered in Switzerland and plans to build giant high-tech batteries to store excess energy generated at power plants. Rybolovev, who jetted to North Carolina shortly before Trump’s election in his Airbus 319, bought Trump’s Palm Beach mansion in 2008 for $95 million. In February, Alevo got about $13.2 million in incentives from North Carolina and local governments to prevent it from moving to China.

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March 31, 2017