WASHINGTON - House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) delivered the following statement today at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters following Administrator Pruitt’s announcement regarding the agency’s science boards.

As prepared for delivery:

Administrator Pruitt, thank you for inviting me to be here today. This is a special occasion. 

Today’s announcement shows that we have an administrator with common sense, commitment and courage.

Administrator Pruitt is restoring the EPA advisory boards to their original purpose – to provide the administrator objective advice on science and technology policies.

For eight years, the EPA has had science boards filled with members who have had conflicts of interest. 

It’s impossible for these boards to be fair and balanced in their advice and their decisions when many board members are receiving grants and funds from the EPA.

Earlier this year, the House passed a Science Committee bill called the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act. It was introduced by Frank Lucas of Oklahoma and co-sponsored by 28 Members of Congress. 

The legislation increases the transparency of the board and the independence of its members. 

The goal of the legislation is to enable boards to provide unbiased scientific advice, which will help maintain their integrity.

Administrator Pruitt’s actions today enable us to put the principles of this bill into practice.

Americans can thank Administrator Pruitt for advancing honest government, sound scientific opinions and a more responsive EPA.