Rep. Smith targets EPA use of 'secret science'

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) plans to introduce legislation in the coming weeks that would stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from using "secret science" as a basis for regulation.

The House Science Committee chairman blasted the EPA for using faulty data to boost its forthcoming rules during a hearing on Thursday, which placed agency chief Gina McCarthy on the hot seat.

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"It appears the EPA bends the law and stretches the science to justify its own objectives," Smith said on Thursday.

The new bill would "restore openness and accountability to the regulatory process" by requiring that future regulations are based on science that is "publicly available and verifiable," a committee aide told The Hill.

"We need to know whether the agency is telling the truth to the American people," Smith said.

"The EPA must either make the data public, or commit to no longer using secret science to support its regulations."

McCarthy defended the agency, referencing a recent Office of Inspector General report applauding the agency for its scientific research.

"Our high-quality science is keeping us relevant," McCarthy said.

In her testimony before the committee, McCarthy called science the "backbone of the EPA's decision-making."

The House GOP used its time assailing McCarthy on the "secret science" used to support the EPA's proposed rules that curb carbon emissions at new power plants.

McCarthy backed the administration's push to require carbon capture systems at new coal-fired power plants.

"Carbon Capture Sequestration has been adequately demonstrated," McCarthy said.

"What we are trying to is make sure new facilities are around for 60 or 70 years and take advantage of the technology available today."