New bill proposed by Science Committee prohibits ‘secret science’
The EPA is on a regulation rampage. Two new rules issued by the agency represent the largest expansion of power by the federal government in our nation’s history. The EPA’s new water rule would allow the federal government to regulate virtually any water source in the U.S., including those in our own backyards. And the recent power plant rule imposes strict carbon regulations on existing power plants that will force many plants to shut down, costing thousands of jobs and driving up electricity prices.
But the EPA’s power grab isn’t the only problem. The agency continues to base these costly regulations on secret science. For nearly three years, the Science Committee has been trying to obtain data that the EPA uses to justify its billion dollar regulatory agenda. Shortly after I became chairman of the Science Committee, I issued a subpoena for the data. This was the committee’s first subpoena in 21 years.
Unfortunately, the EPA continues to stonewall our request. Their regulatory process is clearly flawed — the agency hides the data and then handpicks the scientists to review it, ensuring a favorable result for an aggressive regulatory agenda. If the EPA’s data really backs up their regulatory claims, then why not make the information public?
Until the EPA makes this information public, they should not be allowed to use secret science. That’s why the Science Committee passed a bill that will prohibit the EPA from basing regulations on secret science. The Secret Science Reform Act (H.R. 4012) requires that EPA data be made available for validation and replication. It shines a light on the EPA’s secret regulatory process by restoring transparency and accountability.
The American people foot the bill for the EPA’s billion dollar regulations. They have a right to determine for themselves whether these regulations are being driven by sound science or partisan politics.
Congressman Lamar Smith represents the 21st District of Texas and chairs the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.