Does the public have the right to see the science used by federal agencies to justify regulatory decisions that cost Americans hundreds of billions of dollars every year?

That's the issue before a hearing today of a subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology that will focus on "secret science" at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Members of the committee have asked for, then demanded and finally subpoenaed the underlying data for two studies used by EPA to justify major regulatory policies. The agency refuses to make that data available despite the subpoena.

So much for transparency

The Freedom of Information Act requires that all government documents not subject to one of specific exemptions be made available by federal officials on request to anybody who asks.

Data for studies like the two at issue in today's hearing — the "Harvard Six Cities Study" and the "Cancer Prevention Study" — are not covered by any of the FOIA exemptions.

Those two studies are used by EPA to justify most of the benefits the agency claims result from its air pollution regulations.

Show us your data

The credibility of such studies rest on the ability of outsiders to examine their underlying data and duplicate their findings. Refusing to share that data blows a big hole in the EPA's benefits claims.

EPA's refusal to comply with the committee's subpoena is not merely an insult to Congress. Other federal laws besides the FOIA also specifically require such data to be made public.

So the next question is this: When is the House of Representatives, which controls the federal purse strings, going to make agencies like EPA pay the price of defying Congress and the law?

On today's

Editorial: Obama's tangled regulatory web angers unions, trade associations.

Columnist/Cal Thomas: It's good to have a president who can't be trusted.

Columnist/Gene Healy: "House of Cards" may not be realistic but it's enjoyable.

Columnist/Shikha Dalmia: GOP's border-control plan a recipe for bigger government.

PennAve/Sean Lengell: House GOP leaders draft plan linking debt-ceiling hike with repeal of military retirement cuts.

PennAve/Joseph Lawler: New questions for Janet Yellen as unemployment rate drops.

Beltway Confidential/Philip Klein: Obamacare's unworkable employer mandate is delayed, again.

Beltway Confidential/Joel Gerhke: Sen. Mike Lee calls latest Obamacare delay "lawless," says Obama "is not an emperor."

In other news

CBS News: White House announces another delay in Obamacare employer mandate.

The New York Times: U.S. debates drone strike on American living in Pakistan, aiding terrorists.

The Washington Post: China, Taiwan in first direct talks since 1949.

CNN: No sign of $40 million in donations for Guatemala.

ABC News/The Note: Chris Christie still able to raise big bucks for GOP governors.

New York Post: Video shows U.S. forces grabbing al Qaeda suspect in Libya.

The Los Angeles Times: Shirley Temple Black, iconic child star, dead at 85.

Righty Playbook

National Review Online: The value of Putin.

Washington Free Beacon: Mullahs, ahoy!

Daily Caller: Close ties leave Center for American Progress, First Solar seeing green.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: Is the Lego movie the most subversive pro-liberty film ever?

Lefty Playbook

The Progressive: NSA metadata is used to kill people with drones.

The American Prospect: Chattanooga showdown.

The Nation: North Carolina's "Moral Monday Movement" kicks off year.

Bonus must-read

The Huffington Post: U.S. shifts to "let's wait it out" plan for Afghanistan exit.

Blog Right

Blue Collar Perspective: We can drone cattle rustlers but not America's power-grid terrorists?

Marginal Revolution: Who or what can check the European Central Bank?

Jammie Wearing Fools: Mark Begich explains why he doesn't want Obama to campaign for him.

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: Congressional Republicans are screwing up a winning hand.

Wonkette: ACLU explains to Rhode Island AG that free speech even covers mean, dumb pictures on Facebook.

Crooks and Liars: Mike Huckabee hosts Tea Party lawyer, issues list of demands for IRS.