"When the Environmental Protection Agency this week proposed repealing tighter emissions standards for a type of freight trucks, it cited research conducted by Tennessee Tech University but underwritten by the biggest truck manufacturer challenging the rule.
Fitzgerald Glider Kits — which makes new truck bodies, called gliders, that house refurbished engines — had questioned both the legality and data underpinning the Obama-era rule. Its products would have been required to meet the tougher pollution standards starting in January.
The company’s recent petition to the EPA included a letter signed by Tennessee Tech’s president and the head of the school’s Center for Intelligent Mobility, soon to be housed in a new facility built by Fitzgerald. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who two months earlier had met with company officials, quickly agreed their arguments had merit.
It was the latest example of a profound shift unfolding in the EPA under President Trump, in which the agency has reassessed its own data and analyses at the prompting of corporations. On pesticides, chemical solvents and air pollutants, Pruitt and his deputies are using industry figures to challenge past findings and recommendations of the agency’s own scientists."