Senators join in EPA ‘secret science’ charge

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Eight GOP senators have introduced a bill to block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from using undisclosed scientific studies to justify its regulations, joining House Republicans in the “secret science” accusation.

The EPA would be prohibited from using science that is not public in proposing, finalizing or disseminated rules under the bill, the sponsors said.

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“Since the American people bear the expensive costs of EPA red tape, they deserve to have access to the science behind the EPA’s proposals,” Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenate panel unanimously approves water infrastructure bill Senate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA Watchdog to probe EPA email preservation MORE (R-Wyo.) said in a statement Wednesday.

“For years, the EPA has based its rules and regulations on secret data that they refuse to publish and make available to all Americans,” he said. “If the administration wants to finally live up to its claim of being the ‘most transparent administration’ in U.S. history, they’ll immediately support our bill.” 

A similar bill in the House, sponsored by Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), passed the Science Committee last month.

Republicans have repeatedly charged the EPA with using “secret science,” and a group of senators led by Barrasso and Sen. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterSenate panel advances Trump nominee who wouldn't say if Brown v. Board of Education was decided correctly Planned Parenthood targets judicial nominee over abortion comments Trump nominates wife of ex-Louisiana senator to be federal judge MORE (R-La.) made the accusation in an April letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthyRegina (Gina) McCarthyOvernight Energy: Pruitt’s security cost .5m in first year | Watchdog clears Perry's use of military, charter flights Pruitt spent .5 million on security during first year as EPA head Pruitt granted extension to file financial disclosure form MORE.

McCarthy responded shortly thereafter, shooting back at the charge in a speech.

“If EPA is being accused of 'secret science' because we rely on real scientists to conduct research, and independent scientists to peer review it, and scientists who’ve spent a lifetime studying the science to reproduce it — then so be it," McCarthy said in April.

She accused Republicans of using the “secret science” claim when they don’t agree with the EPA’s policies.