Congressional Republicans behind “secret science” plans to restrict EPA data
Republicans were behind plans to restrict available science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recently released emails show. EPA administrator Scott Pruitt met with Texas Representative Lamar Smith about the deceivingly named “secret science” rule, which requires the EPA to only use research with publicly available data. After failing to push for legislation regarding this in Congress, Smith asked Pruitt to implement the rule internally. Pruitt obliged. But this poses a big problem. Studies supporting climate change have been around since the 1960s. Going back and republishing their raw data now would be near impossible. Further, much of the research that supports the EPA's public health regulations relies on personal medical data, which is not released publicly for patient privacy reasons. Invalidating these studies could drastically limit available science, and open the door to rollbacks that would negatively impact our health and planet. The revelation that this decision was made without the inclusion of scientists, but rather funneled directly from political allies, proves that Pruitt and his cronies care little for the transparency they claim to be after.