Rep. Chris Gibson was the only Republican in the House GOP last week to vote against changes to a board of scientists that provide critical analysis and advice to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2013, that passed in the Republican-controlled House, would have changed how members of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board could be selected and their the length of office.
According to supporters, the changes will “restore balance and independence to the scientific advisory process at EPA.” More of the reasoning behind the bill can be found here.
But those against the legislation say it cloaks itself in reform but would actually weaken the EPA’s scientific integrity, independence and increase corporate influence on science. The White House also came out against the legislation, with President Barack Obama promising to veto it.
You can find the opinion by the Union of Concerned Scientists here.
The bill was lobbied on by industry groups like Exxon Mobil and the American Chemistry Council , according to Open Secrets, a government transparency website that’s written about the bill in the past.
Gibson, from Kinderhook, was the only Republican in the House to vote against the bill. He represents Ulster and Sullivan counties as part of the 19th Congressional District and just won his third term in the House. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-Cold Spring, also voted against it, aligning with all but four House Democrats.
I’ve put out a request for comment from Gibson on the reasoning behind his vote. Will update if I receive it.