When the House of Representatives returns from recess, the chamber will vote on a bill regarding the transparency of scientific findings used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in agency rulemaking. HR 4012, the “Secret Science Reform Act,” is sponsored by Representative David Schweikert (R-AZ).
According to the blog of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), “The EPA proposes new rules that will cost billions of dollars and destroy thousands of jobs. Then, when questioned, they say it is all based on the best science but often refuse to share that science with the American people or even Congress.”
The legislation would prohibit EPA from proposing or finalizing any rule that utilizes research findings that are not “transparent or reproducible.” Critics of the legislation say that some research data are confidential and not suitable for public release. Other studies are not reproducible because they involved very large sample sizes, occurred over long durations, or gathered data in real time during a one-time event.
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), who serves as the top Democrat on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, called the bill “an insidious attack on the EPA’s ability to use the best science to protect public health.”
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