11.22: news.pol/gemini/unregulated capitalism
/H.R. 4012 doesn't promote transparent science
but demands EPA use only that:
. Passage of H.R. 4012, would prevent the
Environmental Protection Agency
from issuing new regulations unless it
provides the scientific data to justify them.
. it fell largely along party lines with a vote of 237-190.
. the House passed a measure to reform the
EPA's Scientific Advisory Board.
Republicans said the measure would enhance transparency at the EPA.
. "Costly environmental regulations
should only be based on data that is
available to independent scientists and the public,"
said House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman
Lamar Smith (R-Texas).
Democrats said imposing such a requirement could
force the EPA to release confidential patient information
used in scientific studies, a violation of federal law.
. The White House issued a veto threat:
"the Administration urges Congress to support
the Administration’s efforts to make
scientific and technical information
more accessible and regulations more transparent" .
[ie, if congress is going to demand
transparent science by the EPA,
then pass some laws that promote transparent science
instead of protecting trade secrets
from independent researchers .]
. the bill is designed so that the EPA
has to make raw data public before creating new rules
while blocking the agency from disclosing
trade secrets or industry and private medical data
which is essential for making the rule.
In other words, it's a classic Catch-22 .
The most ridiculous part of the bill, though,
is that it blocks scientific experts from
participating in “advisory activities” that
involves their own work,
ie experts can no longer share
their expertise in their own research.
So academic scientists who know the most about a
scientific/public health subject
can’t participate, but guess who can?
Experts paid by corporations who want to block regulations.
Essentially, the entire point of this bill
is to make it legally impossible for the EPA to do its job.
Which was entirely the point and goal from the beginning,
and why Obama will rightly veto
(assuming it passes the Senate).