The Senate, without a committee confirmation hearing or discussion on the floor, has approved David Michaels as Deputy Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, in other words, the chief of OSHA.
Michaels was confirmed along with a host of other nominees in a simple voice vote.
Michaels from the beginning was a controversial nominee who views ergonomics as a settled scientific issue and has said he will reinstate the previously withdrawn ergonomics standard in some form or another.
In the introduction to his book, Doubt Is Their Product, Michaels observes:
The vilification of any research that might threaten corporate interests as ‘junk science’ and the sanctification of its own bought-and-paid-for research as ‘sound science’ is indeed Orwellian–and nothing less than standard operating procedure today. …
…At its heart, this book documents the ways in which product defense consultants have shaped and skewed the scientific literature, manufactured and magnified scientific uncertainty, and influenced policy decisions to the advantage of polluters and the manufacturers of dangerous products.
The question remains–does Michaels himself have any doubt in his consistently anti-corporate worldview? That’s the question his critics want answered.