Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Wednesday became the first federal department head to issue long-awaited rules to protect scientific integrity, drawing praise from environmental and scientific advocacy groups who had grown frustrated waiting for White-House-promised action on the issue.
Jeffrey Ruch, who heads the watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, applauded Interior for issuing its new rules despite the delay of broader guidelines by the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
“Interior has been the poster child for manipulation of science,” Ruch said. “[The new policy] will have government-wide influence because if Interior can do it, then anybody can do it.”
For years, Interior has been accused of putting policy objectives before science. An inspector general’s report in April declared that “the lack of a comprehensive policy leaves not only Interior, but those who rely upon its scientific information, vulnerable to tainted data and misinformed decisions.”
Interior sets rules for scientific integrity By Kim Geiger Tribune Washington Bureau