The good news, perhaps, is that Interior felt a need to take some policy action in response to the White House's Dec. 17, 2010, memo on science integrity. The bad news? The Interior policy seems to rehash a 2010 decree that scientists criticized, to punish the innocent, and to reward the uninvolved.
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The Associated Press reports the House Oversight Committee has asked the Department of Homeland Security for documents about its policy requiring political appointees to review Freedom of Information Act requests.
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility says the Dec. 21 memo implies that existing EPA openness policy meets White House criteria. Meanwhile, the Office of Management and Budget may again be tampering with agency science for political purposes — accused by Arizona congressman Raúl Grijalva (pictured) of censoring FOIA'd documents relating to the mid-summer estimate of Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Anonymous White House lawyers have blacked out all information about how the administration's science openness policy was arrived at, and are fighting in court against efforts to shed light on it.
The order gives agencies 120 days to review their existing secrecy designations and to come up with standardized ones "in a timely manner." When there is doubt, Obama's order states, agencies are to err on the side of disclosure.
The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility is suing the administration under the Freedom of Information Act for documents that would explain the delay in issuing a long overdue, government-wide integrity policy.
Open-government advocacy groups like Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and the Union of Concerned Scientists say DOI's proposal seems designed to perpetuate some of the worst science abuses of the Bush administration.
The changes affect only new drilling areas and may include greater consideration of environmental impacts, more public review, fewer "categorical exclusions" from environmental review, and more.SEJ Publication Types:Region:
The EPA press office continues to ask reporters not to name top EPA officials who participate in news teleconferences and brief journalists. The latest incident, remarked on by InvestigateWest's Robert McClure, was a May 4 briefing on EPA's proposed delay in issuing its coal-ash rule.Region:
Six public listening sessions in April and May will provide input for the agency's draft national policy on marine aquaculture products.SEJ Publication Types:Region: