A bill introduced in Congress on Feb. 6 would restrict the Environmental Protection Agency from proposing regulations unless the scientific data behind the regulations has been publicly released.
The Secret Science Reform Act of 2014, introduced by Environment Subcommittee Chairman David Schweikert, R-Ariz., and House Committee on Science, Space and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, would keep EPA from finalizing any regulation without making all of the science behind it available to the public.
“Virtually every regulation proposed by the Obama administration has been justified by nontransparent data and unverifiable claims,” Smith said in a statement. “The American people foot the bill for EPA’s costly regulations, and they have a right to see the underlying science.”
Some Democrats worry the bill is a way to weaken EPA’s regulation power.
“This legislation attempts to dictate how the scientific method is employed,” said Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., in an email. “The Secret Science Reform Act is an attempt by climate change deniers to stop the EPA from doing its job. The bill attacks the mainstays of scientific investigation. It would strip away the EPA’s authority to make any rules due to the stringency of the data disclosure requirements.”
The Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the bill titled “Ensuring Open Science at EPA” on Feb. 11.