March 9, 2009

Obama’s Move to Restore Confidence in Science Long Overdue, Whitehouse Says

President Lifts Ban on Stem Cell Research Funding

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee who last year excoriated the Bush Administration for putting politics before science, said today that President Obama’s new policy on the use of science in federal decisionmaking will restore the American people’s faith in government and help put national environmental and regulatory policy back on the right track.

“Politics should never trump science, especially when our environment and public health are at stake. But for eight years, science has been overrun by political ideology, at great cost to our government’s ability to protect Americans’ health and well-being,” Whitehouse said. “President Obama recognized this for what it was – a serious threat to the integrity of proud institutions like the EPA – and is taking long-overdue steps to reverse it.”

Last July, Whitehouse joined EPW Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer and other committee members to call for the resignation of then-Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson following allegations of political interference at EPA.

The President today also lifted federal restrictions on funding for research on human embryonic stem cells, a move Whitehouse said “gives hope to millions of Americans challenged by osteosarcoma, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, spinal cord injuries, stroke, and a myriad of diseases and conditions this research might help or even cure.”

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