Union local presidents representing the vast majority of U.S. EPA employees have withdrawn from a cooperation agreement with their Bush-appointed supervisors, claiming “abuses of our good nature and trust.” In a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, the unionized workers wrote that he retaliates against whistleblowers and ignores principles of scientific integrity “whenever political direction from other federal entities or private sector interests so direct.” The union leaders cited the agency’s refusal, against staff recommendations, to grant California a waiver to regulate vehicle greenhouse-gas emissions, and its insufficient address of health concerns regarding mercury from power plants. An EPA spokesperson responded, presumably with a straight face, “As a 27-year career EPA scientist, the administrator values the expertise and advice of his staff and will do so through his time in leadership.”

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