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Pruitt explains plan for scientific transparency initiative at EPA

Pruitt explains plan for scientific transparency initiative at EPA
© Greg Nash

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittScientific integrity, or more hot air? OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden proposes billions for electric vehicles, building retrofitting| EPA chief to replace Trump appointees on science advisory panels | Kerry to travel to UAE, India to discuss climate change EPA chief to replace Trump appointees on science advisory panels MORE said Sunday he plans to increase transparency in how the department uses scientific analysis to create rules and regulations.

Pruitt told radio host John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York that he's found much of the research used to create EPA rules comes from third parties.

"One of the things that we're changing here soon is to say, look, if third parties are used as the basis of rulemaking as we adopt rules, it’s important for the American people to have transparency on the data that was reviewed," Pruitt said in an interview broadcast Sunday.

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As a result, Pruitt said the EPA will be announcing its transparency initiatives "very soon." When a third party group conducts an analysis for the EPA, the findings will include the data and methodology as well, Pruitt said, "so people can form their own opinions on whether it was done right."

"It goes to the heart of what we should be about as an agency, which is making sure, as we get comments from citizens across the country on our rules, that they can make informed comments," he added.

Pruitt's attempts to reshape the EPA's transparency rules come as he faces intense scrutiny over a litany of recent ethics controversies.

Pruitt is facing probes and pressure to resign over reports he rented a Capitol Hill condo from the wife of a prominent energy lobbyist for $50 a day only on the days he stayed at the condo.

In addition, recent reports have revealed his travel and security habits have cost taxpayers millions of dollars, and that he reportedly approved raises for two staffers despite the White House rejecting the requests for pay increases.

President TrumpDonald TrumpHarry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' Man arrested for allegedly threatening to stab undercover Asian officer in NYC Trump says GOP will take White House in 2024 in prepared speech MORE and some Republicans have defended Pruitt, praising him for cutting regulations at the EPA.