BY U.S. REPRESENTATIVE BRUCE WESTERMAN –
WASHINGTON – Today [Wednesday, March 18, 2015], the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1030, the Secret Science Reform Act of 2015 with a bipartisan vote of 241-175. The EPA has been proposing, finalizing, and implementing far reaching and economically harmful regulations without releasing the science on which these regulations are based. Without transparency, independent scientists cannot review and verify the science nor can the affected public be certain that that the extra red tape and bureaucracy is actually necessary. Today’s bill prohibits the EPA from proposing or implementing regulations without first publishing the science on which they are based for independent review.
Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Cynthia Lummis (WY-At Large) with bill sponsor and Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (TX-21), and bill cosponsors and Science Committee members Rep. Randy Neugebauer (TX-19) and Rep. Bruce Westerman (AR-04) released the following statements in response to the passage of the bill:
“The American people and independent researchers have a right to see the science on which federal policy decisions are based, especially since it is the American taxpayer footing the bill for the science or bearing the burden of the mandates,” said Chairman Lummis. “This is particularly critical throughout the West where decisions based on this ‘secret science’ hurt the livelihoods of thousands of American families. This secrecy erodes the quality of the decisions and serves only to aggravate the growing distrust the public justly has for the EPA. It’s time the agency used only publicly available science that can be tested and verified instead of expecting the rest of the country to just smile, nod, and take the veracity of the EPA’s regulations on faith.”
“Many Americans are unaware that some of the EPA’s most expensive and burdensome regulations, such as its proposed ozone rules, are based on data that not even the EPA has seen,” said Chairman Smith. “Costly environmental regulations should only be based upon data that is available to independent scientists and the public and that can be verified. It’s time to restore faith in our government and return the power to the people. This bill ensures that the decisions that affect every American are based on independently-verified, unbiased scientific research, instead of on secret data that is hidden behind closed doors.”
“Under the Obama Administration, the EPA has used publicly unavailable data to justify billions of dollars in new regulations that unfairly burden hardworking West Texas farmers, ranchers, and small business owners,” said Rep. Neugebauer. “Today, the House acted and passed the Secret Science Reform Act of 2015, which I cosponsored, to bring the EPA’s regulatory process into the light of day and make the EPA more accountable to the American people.”
“The passage of the Secret Science bill this week ensures that businesses in my home state of Arkansas and across the country are able to see the science behind the often-times burdensome regulations placed on private industry by the Environmental Protection Agency,” said Rep. Westerman. “Transparency in government is needed, especially when regulation based on secrets are coming from the Obama administration, resulting in skyrocketing costs to businesses which means less jobs.”
Earlier this week the House also passed a bill to increase public participation in the EPA’s Science Advisory Board, make advisor selection more transparent, and ensure the board remains focused on science and not politics. Currently 60 percent of the members of EPA’s standing scientific advisory panels directly received National Center for Environmental Research grants from the agency since 2000.