Park City science march emboldened by EPA chief’s scandals
It was always anticipated the demonstrators at the upcoming March for Science in Park City will express deep concerns with President Trump’s environmental policies.
The Saturday event, though, will also almost certainly mention by name a member of the Trump administration with broad power over issues critical to the marchers. The March for Science is scheduled as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, faces ethical questions centered on a rental deal with a lobbyist and travel expenses.
The March for Science organizers intend to press the president to base policy decisions on research. The EPA was one of the agencies of concern to the March for Science organizers in the weeks before the questions about Pruitt.
“If anything, this strengthens our argument,” Josh Hobson, a Park City resident who is the lead organizer for the local March for Science, said about the concerns regarding Pruitt.
Hobson even before the questions indicated he was displeased with the work of the EPA under Pruitt. He mentioned concerns with the EPA alongside those with the president, the Department of Interior and Rep. Rob Bishop, who is the Republican congressman representing Park City and surrounding Summit County in Washington, D.C.
Hobson said it will be “almost hard not to mention him” during the March for Science, referring to Pruitt. Corruption at the EPA is “seemingly rampant,” he said.
“It seems to me an awful lot that there’s a bad actor at the top of EPA,” Hobson said, adding that the questions about Pruitt “does give us the opportunity to have that thing to demonstrate against.”
It will be the second consecutive year a March for Science is held in Park City following one held just months after the president took office. The organizers and marchers say it is best that policies be crafted after issues are studied extensively. Doing so ensures the policies are rooted in scientific evidence, the marchers say.
The March for Science organizers recently secured a permit from the Park City Council to hold the event. Hobson has said he hopes several hundred people attend, a similar number to the event in 2017. The marchers are scheduled to gather for a rally at the Brew Pub lot at 11 a.m. and then descend Main Street to the 9th Street intersection. The crowd will disperse at the intersection before the organizers regroup at the Park City Library at 11:30 a.m. for speakers and a small fair with science-related not-for-profit organizations.
“The reason that we are marching is that Washington is not serving its mandate,” Hobson said.
Park City agreed to close Main Street to traffic for the march, and there will be a prohibition on parking on the street around the time of the event. There will be parking available in public lots in the Main Street core.
Hobson wants the Saturday focus to remain on the ideal of crafting policy based on science rather than the EPA administrator’s issues.
“This is suddenly not going to be a march against Scott Pruitt,” he said.
A former Summit County victim advocate who was facing a felony count of misusing public money pleaded guilty Tuesday to a lesser charge in a deal with prosecutors.