Rather than justifying regulations on the basis of secret science, the EPA will have to open their reasoning to the public.
I’ve written before about secret science and how progressives have authorized the EPA to construct rules without any public accountability. But with Barack Obama gone, and Donald Trump in office, Congress can now liberate us from the environmental regime.
Here’s Representative Brian Babin, of Texas, defending a new bill that was recently passed.
According to the Associated Press:
House Republicans are taking aim at the Environmental Protection Agency, targeting the way officials use science to develop new regulations.
A bill approved Wednesday by the GOP-controlled House would require that data used to support new regulations to protect human health and the environment be released to the public.
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said “the days of ‘trust me’ science are over,” adding that the House bill would restore confidence in the EPA’s decision-making process.
The response of liberals is that that the EPA would be “crippled” and “restricted” by this bill. Many media outlets reported on the story as champions for the Democrats’ point of view.
Thus, the US News headline: “House Votes to Restrict EPA’s Use of Scientific Studies.”
The House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that would restrict the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to use certain types of scientific studies, a restraint that Republicans say is needed to stop unnecessary regulations that cost private companies millions of dollars.
How is requiring the EPA to reveal its science a “restriction”?
But Rep. Eddie Bernice Johns, D-Texas, said the measure “is a Pandora’s Box which could have untold consequences for the EPA, industry and the general public.”
Critics said the EPA would be prohibited from making regulatory decisions based on peer-reviewed research studies that involve information that cannot be made public, like medical records, severely limiting the data available to EPA regulators.
This seems highly improbable. Why couldn’t the names be changed?
The bottom line is that giving an agency the power to do things on the basis of secret science is tantamount to allowing that agency to impose regulations on the basis of no science at all. What is the point of living in a Republic where government is allegedly open and accountable if bureaucrats have the power to hide stuff from the public that supposedly justifies those regulations? Like the Federal Reserve, the EPA needs to be audited.
According to the Hill,
Even with President Trump in the White House, the GOP feels it’s important to make lasting changes to how regulations are written and justified.
The House earlier this year passed a pair of bills to rein in regulations across government — the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act and the Regulatory Accountability Act.
But Democrats, environmentalists and health advocates say the HONEST Act is intended to handcuff the EPA. They say it would irresponsibly leave the EPA unable to write important regulatory protections, since the agency might not have the ability to release some parts of the scientific data underpinning them.
We can agree with liberals that the bill, passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Trump, would “handcuff” the EPA. Arbitrary power is supposed to be handcuffed in our system of government.
The Republicans have taken a step to free Americans. It is one of the reasons the Democrats were defeated.