EPA Wants To Increase Transparency Of Data Used in Crafting Regulations

Administrator Scott Pruitt in a press release said he signed a rule that ends the use of confidential scientific studies in the formulation of government policy.

The proposal must undergo a 30-day public comment period once it's published online, among other things, before it is finalized.

Pruitt is expected to face a long list of questions from lawmakers Thursday when he testifies in front of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment and the House Appropriations Committee subcommittee that handles Interior Department and EPA issues. "The science that we use is going to be transparent".

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Many of those rules are built around the type of epidemiological research Pruitt wants to prohibit the EPA from using. Under the newly-proposed change, the EPA would only be able to use studies that include publicly-available data. For decades, the EPA has improperly claimed massive power to regulate almost every aspect of our economy and lives.

Huelskamp represented Kansas' first congressional district from 2011 to 2017.

"The best available science must serve as the foundation of EPA's regulatory actions", the proposed rule states.

Freedom-oriented organizations who have been critical of Obama's EPA are pleased that some of its aggressive tactics are being walked back.

EPA chief Scott Pruitt announced the proposal at a closed-door event at the agency's headquarters in Washington, DC, calling it a big step forward for increasing transparency at the agency.


For years, EPA critics have pushed Congress to forbid the agency from relying on the studies that comprise the bulk of the independent research on fossil fuels on public health. "The irony is whenever the industry does these studies from their own angle, do they reveal all the data? No". But researchers and science advocates maintain that the rule is little more than a ruse meant to limit the EPA's access to scientific studies and ultimately, to prevent new health and environmental regulations from going into effect. Mike Rounds of South Dakota stood beside Pruitt during the announcement. "It's going to be reproducible".

Liberals charged that Pruitt already has barred scientists who are getting paid by the EPA from serving on EPA advisory committees but is "still allowing those funded by industry". That is because many health studies involve large amounts of patient data that can be accessed only under condition of confidentiality.

Pruitt said this would increase transparency by showing how policy-informing research is actually done.

Emissions from the Colstrip power plants have been subject to a number of federal air-pollution regulations in the past. "Americans deserve to assess the legitimacy of the science underpinning EPA decisions that may impact their lives".

The Heartland's science director, Jay Lehr, said, "It is wonderful that the public ever allowed a government agency supported by their taxes to hide the information used to restrict their lives through regulation. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is finally reining in the out of control regulatory process".

The EPA administrator, who has come under fire from both parties for his personal conduct and ethical scandals, announced the changes at an EPA event on Tuesday, where he was surrounded by conservative allies and pollution skeptics. My junior high algebra teacher made me show my work to get credit for a test answer.

"Requiring all underlying data to be made public before a study can be used to set policy is just common sense. If it's good enough for junior high, we should hold EPA to at least that level of transparency".

  • Tracy Klein