The Interior Department jumps on the EPA's "secret science" bandwagon

Rick Kimpel/Flickr

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency uses its “secret science” rule to disregard the scientific studies it doesn't like (i.e. climate or public health studies that put certain industries in a bad light), and now the U.S. Department of the Interior is following in the EPA's pro-pollution footsteps. The Interior's new policy severely limits the science it can cite when making decisions on anything from pipeline placement to offshore drilling safety to endangered species listings. Moving forward, agency decisions that depend upon scientific data will face an additional test, enforced by Interior Department politicos. The administration also says that only research with publicly available raw data is now fair game—unless, of course, that data comes from industry, which will be conveniently shielded from public disclosure. The administration claims this is an exercise in transparency, but oftentimes the studies looking into pollution's effects on human health keep data private to protect the medical information of their participants.  As for the EPA, it turns out the agency excluded its own top scientists, such as those in the Office of the Science Advisor, when rushing to push through its secret science proposal. These policies are a pathetic attempt to deny the mounting empirical evidence of what polluting industries are doing to our land and our bodies. 

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