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EPA ‘secret science’ ban proposal: research transparency or attack on science?




Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Pete Marovich/Getty Images

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering a proposal that would restrict the research available to it when writing environmental regulations unless the underlying raw data is made public for independent review.

The move, seen by scientists as an attack on science, will leave environmental regulators at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing crucial decades-old studies such as linking air pollution to premature deaths or work that measures human exposure to pesticides and other chemicals. Supporters argue that Americans deserve to see the science for themselves and other scientists should be able to review the work. Critics, however, say the proposal would undermine the science that underpins modern environmental regulations such as those governing clean water and clean air.

What do you think, is it research transparency or an attack on science?

AirTalk reached out to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for comment but as of the airing of this segment, we have not received a response to our request.

Guests:

Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Washington, D.C.; he also led President Trump’s E.P.A. transition team

Yogin Kothari, Washington representative with the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists