Senators Approve Bill To Stop EPA From Using ‘Secret Science’

by EMILY ATKIN – A Senate committee has advanced legislation that would change how the Environmental Protection Agency uses science to craft regulations intended to protect the environment and public health, the Hill reported Tuesday. On party line votes, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 11-9 to approve the “Secret Science Reform Act,” a bill to prohibit the EPA from using science that includes private data, or data that can’t be easily reproduced. The bill has been pushed strongly by House Republicans for the last two years, but this is the first time it has been advanced by the Senate. It is sponsored by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY). The purpose of the Secret Science bill, according to its House sponsor Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), is to stop “hidden and flawed” science from being the basis of EPA regulations. However, many scientific organizations have disagreed with this characterization. For...

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Another Attempt To Tell The EPA What Science It Can Use From House Republicans

by EMILY ATKIN – Two very special bills were scheduled for consideration in the House of Representatives on Tuesday: one is called the Secret Science Reform Act, and the other is called the Science Advisory Board Reform Act. Taken together, these bills would significantly change how the Environmental Protection Agency uses science to craft regulations intended to protect the environment and public health. If it became law, the “Secret Science” bill would prohibit the EPA from using science that includes private data, or data that can’t be easily reproduced. Bill sponsor Lamar Smith (R-TX) says this would stop “hidden and flawed” science from being the basis of EPA regulations, though many scientific organizations have disagreed with the characterization of their data. “Costly regulations should not be created behind closed doors and out of public view,” Smith said in a statement to ThinkProgress. “This bill works toward a more accountable government that...

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