Groups Oppose Cuts to Federal Advisory Committees

2019-10-15T13:17:21+00:00 October 15, 2019|
(Credit: Nishkid64/Wikimedia Commons)

(Credit: Nishkid64/Wikimedia Commons)

From: Eos: Earth and Space Science News/ By: Randy Showstack

Dozens of organizations—including scientific, environmental, and public health groups—are calling on President Donald Trump to rescind his 14 June 2019 executive order that limits the number of Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) advisory committees.

“By requiring elimination of one-third of existing advisory committees and capping the total number of committees at 350, the order would arbitrarily eliminate essential advice that informs government decisionmaking,” states a 4 October letter signed by 77 groups, including the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL), Natural Resources Defense Council, and Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).


Jon White, president and CEO of COL, said that FACA committees are the best means to ensure that the brightest scientists in the world “are being used to make the best possible decisions by our government. If we don’t have them, then we are losing an incredibly valuable part of our [capability] to inform our future and help us to navigate effectively and safely and not run aground.”

White said he doesn’t accept the rationale that these committees should be cut because of their costs. “I don’t know what the reasoning is, but I don’t buy that,” he said.

He added, “I don’t know of any [committees] that I would offer up to actually cut. It’s a huge concern for the scientific community and, I think, for our nation as well.”

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