American taxpayers foot the bill for the Environmental Protection Agency's costly regulations, and they have a right to see the underlying science. EPA bureaucrats routinely hide this public information, insolently foreshadowing President Obama's recently outed code of ethics, “I can do anything I want.”
As Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, bluntly forced the issue, “Virtually every regulation proposed by the Obama administration has been justified by nontransparent data and unverifiable claims.”
“Nontransparent data and unverifiable claims”? Translated from scientese, it’s like this: If you’re a good scientist, you make an exact, detailed description of how you did your study or research so anybody else can follow your description and get the same result.
If you won’t tell anybody how you did it, your work is not “transparent”.
If you do tell and nobody else can get the same result you got, your science is junk, or not “reproducible” – not verifiable.
Face it, EPA science is junk and they’re hiding that fact.
Smith is in a position to do something about Obama's scofflaws: he's chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, where his panel this Tuesday held a hearing on “Ensuring Open Science at EPA.”
It was the launching pad for the Secret Science Reform Act of 2014, a bill to bar the EPA from proposing regulations based upon science that is not transparent or not reproducible.
That sent shockwaves through Big Green, which has a vested interest in hiding outdated, biased, falsified, sweetheart-reviewed, and even non-existent “science” that has destroyed the lives of thousands in the death-grip of agenda-driven EPA rules.
Environment Subcommittee Chairman Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., gaveled the hearing to order. “For far too long,” he said, “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.”
The average American would probably ask why the EPA is such a problem. The first witness told why: John D. Graham, a dean at Indiana University and former administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has years of experience telling good science from junk.
Graham surprisingly said that EPA science standards are “quite high” because lives depend upon proper rules to protect us from the harmful effects of pollution while avoiding data errors that can unjustly destroy whole sectors of America’s economy.
EPA isn’t living up to its standards. Why not?
EPA’s downfall is its poorly developed science culture, said Graham. “In my experience working with EPA, I have found that the political, legal and engineering cultures are fairly strong but the cultures of science and economics are highly variable ... First-rate scientists who are interested in public service employment might be more inclined to launch a career at the National Academy of Sciences” or elsewhere.
Most damning, Graham cited a decade of National Science Foundation reports documenting the bad quality, transparency and reproducibility of EPA’s scientific determinations.
Dr. Louis “Tony” Cox, chief sciences officer at Nexthealth Technologies, needs access to sound data for his work on health risk assessment, but he’s more than alarmed at the state of EPA science. Cox sees “catastrophic failure in the reproducibility and trustworthiness of scientific results.”
Even science editors complain that many published research articles are false and even peer-reviewed results are not reproducible.
EPA demands sensational reports, true or not, and isn’t checking scientists’ work.
In short, we need junk sniffers.
Raymond J. Keating, chief economist of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, who testified for the Center for Regulatory Solutions, provided one of the hearing’s big shockers: “The annual cost of federal regulations registered $1.75 trillion in 2008.”
A highly credentialed witness, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Professor Ellen Silbergeld, picked the Secret Science Reform bill apart. She hit two points: lack of protection for patient information privacy in EPA health studies, and a requirement for everyone but industry to reveal their data.
In rebuttal of both points, Graham noted that the National Academy of Sciences is now focusing not on whether patient data is to be shared, but how to do it while protecting privacy; and the Secret Science Reform bill requires all EPA science, regardless of source or funding, to have open data, including industry.
Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., asked of the witness panel, “Do any of you disagree with the principle that in [the] case of taxpayer-funded research or studies, the public should have access to the underlying data?” Silbergeld responded, “As stated in my testimony, for reasons given, I disagree with that – respectfully.”
EPA is basing major regulatory decisions on junk and inviting a rebellion by doing it.
Taxpayers must become America's army of junk sniffers and ruthlessly axe the EPA's heart rot - respectfully, of course.RON ARNOLD, a Washington Examiner columnist, is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.