White House threatens veto of EPA ‘secret science’ bill

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The White House on Tuesday threatened to veto a pair of Republican bills aimed at changing the way the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses science to justify regulations.

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The first bill would attack the EPA’s use of “secret science.”

In response to common Republican accusations that the EPA is not transparent enough, it would require the agency to publicly release the details of any scientific research that it uses for regulations.

The second bill would reform the EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board, a panel of independent experts that make recommendations on science, regulations, standards and other subjects to the agency.

The White House argued that both of the bills would prevent the EPA from protecting human health and the environment, and said that President Obama’s advisers would recommend that he veto them.

The first bill, the White House said, would "impose arbitrary, unnecessary, and expensive requirements" that would impede the EPA.

It argued that the EPA sometimes has to withhold scientific information to protect the privacy of test subjects or to hide information that does not belong to the federal government.

The second bill, it said, would keep the administration from getting the best experts to serve on its scientific board.

The House passed both bills last year despite similar veto threats from the White House. The Senate did not take up either piece of legislation.