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March 03, 2021

Chairwoman Johnson and Chair Grijalva Laud Department of Interior for Revoking ‘Open Science’ Order

(Washington, DC) – Today, Department of Interior Acting Secretary Scott de la Vega eliminated Secretarial Order 3369, originally signed in 2018 by Deputy Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt. The order sought to limit the types of research the Department could support and to exclude certain types of scientific information and data from consideration in policymaking. Acting Secretary de la Vega issued a new Secretarial Order 3397 which directs the Department to review the effects of the Trump-era order and affirms the principles outlined in President Biden’s Memorandum on Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking.  

“When political officials seek to cherry-pick and disqualify certain types of scientific information from being used in policy-making, you can be sure they are on a path to implementing bad policy,” said House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). “The federal government serves the American people best when it considers the full body of relevant scientific evidence. I am heartened that the Department of Interior has restored science to its appropriate role in decision-making, and I look forward to working further with the Department to reinforce its commitment to scientific integrity.” 

“Restoring scientific integrity to government is one of the most important things the Biden administration can do to improve American quality of life,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ). “Republicans and the Trump administration manipulated science to benefit polluters and frustrate anyone trying to protect public health. Getting this pro-polluter rule out of the way means we can base our air, water and climate policies on evidence rather than industry demands. It’s a good early step from the administration, and everyone should be excited to see federal leadership that respects science instead of abusing it.”