While the news from Washington these days consists largely of confrontations between the White House and Congress, other serious concerns are being overlooked. The current administration is doing its best to ignore and suppress science. To that end, I hope that Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Rep. Jared Golden will support the Scientific Integrity Act (S 775 and HR 1709).

That legislation would protect federal government scientists from political interference.

We have seen how some previous actions and findings of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Drug Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency have been thwarted, cut back or overturned. Clear air and water standards are being weakened; questionable medical devices are being cleared for use; and climate change data from buoys and satellites is being ignored.

As a physician, I am troubled to know that loosened emission standards for coal-fired smokestacks will mean that the air headed downwind toward Maine will make things worse for those suffering from asthma and COPD.

As a citizen, worried about the rising high tide level along the coast, I would like federal scientists to be free to voice their concerns about their findings, not to mention any suggestions they might have.

So far, only Democrats, including Rep. Chellie Pingree, have signed on as sponsors of the Scientific Integrity Act. Why should it be a partisan issue?

Edward Walworth, Lewiston

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