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February 06, 2014

Chairmen Schweikert introduces Legislation to End EPA’s use of Secret Science

Washington D.C., February 6, 2014 — Members of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology today joined withHouse Environment Subcommittee Chairman David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) to introduce the Secret Science Reform Act of 2014 (H.R. 4012), a bill to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from proposing regulations based upon science that is not transparent or not reproducible.  

"The Secret Science Reform Act ends costly EPA rulemaking from happening behind closed doors and out of public view," said Chairman Schweikert. "Public policy should come from public data, not based on the whims of far-left environmental groups.  For far too long, the EPA has approved regulations that have placed a crippling financial burden on economic growth in this country with no public evidence to justify their actions.  This common-sense legislation forces the EPA to be transparent and accountable with their findings."

"Virtually every air regulation proposed by the Obama administration has been justified based upon nontransparent data and unverifiable claims," said House Science and Technology Committee Chairman and co-sponsor Lamar Smith. "The American people foot the bill for EPA’s costly regulations, and they have a right to see the underlying science. Costly environmental regulations should be based upon publicly available data so that independent scientists can verify the EPA’s claims. The Secret Science Reform Act of 2014, of which I am an original cosponsor, prohibits EPA from using secret science to justify new regulations."

A 2013 poll from the Institute of Energy Research found that 90 percent of Americans agree that studies and data used to make federal government decisions should be made public. Provisions in the bill are consistent with the White House’s scientific integrity policy, the President’s Executive Order 13563, data access provisions of major scientific journals, the Bipartisan Policy Center and the recommendations of the Obama administration’s top science advisors.

On Tuesday, February 11 at 10:00am EST the Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled, "Ensuring Open Science at EPA" to receive testimony on the legislation.

Past examples of EPA using secret science: 

  • EPA relies heavily on secret data in major rulemakings, including in upcoming ozone standards, which the Agency has admitted could be the most expensive regulation in history. 
  • EPA frequently relies on undisclosed, proprietary models. Its recently-proposed New Source Performance Standards for power plants, which functionally prohibits construction of new coal plants, was based upon one of these models. 
  • The Agency’s chemical risk assessments are routinely based upon taxpayer-funded studies in which the underlying data is not made public, even after repeated FOIA requests for the information. 
  • Virtually all Clean Air Act regulations, costing millions, under this Administration have been justified based upon nontransparent health data. 

Members who joined with Chairman Smith as original cosponsors of Chairman Schweikert’s bill include:  Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Paul Broun (R-Ga.), Research and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Chairman Emeritus Ralph Hall (R-Texas), Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), Energy Subcommittee Chairman Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Vice Chairman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), and Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas)


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