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 BarrassoThis week: Trump set for Senate setback on emergency declaration We should end tax giveaways to electric vehicle owners Overnight Energy: McConnell plans Green New Deal vote before August recess | EPA official grilled over enforcement numbers | Green group challenges Trump over Utah pipelines 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 VitterBottom Line Bottom Line Top 5 races to watch in 2019 MORE (R-La.) made the accusation in an April letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthyRegina (Gina) McCarthyOvernight Energy: Senate Dems introduce Green New Deal alternative | Six Republicans named to House climate panel | Wheeler confirmed to lead EPA Overnight Energy: Joshua Tree National Park lost M in fees due to shutdown | Dem senator, AGs back case against oil giants | Trump officials secretly shipped plutonium to Nevada Overnight Energy: Ethics panel clears Grijalva over settlement with staffer | DC aims to run on 100 percent clean energy by 2032 | Judges skeptical of challenge to Obama smog rule 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.