Science? We don’t need know stinkin’ science.

If this isn’t just peak Republican Party:

E.P.A. to Limit Science Used to Write Public Health Rules

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is preparing to significantly limit the scientific and medical research that the government can use to determine public health regulations, overriding protests from scientists and physicians who say the new rule would undermine the scientific underpinnings of government policymaking.

A new draft of the Environmental Protection Agency proposal, titled Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science, would require that scientists disclose all of their raw data, including confidential medical records, before the agency could consider an academic study’s conclusions. [emphasis mine] E.P.A. officials called the plan a step toward transparency and said the disclosure of raw data would allow conclusions to be verified independently.

“We are committed to the highest quality science,” Andrew Wheeler, the E.P.A. administrator, told a congressional committee in September. “Good science is science that can be replicated and independently validated, science that can hold up to scrutiny. That is why we’re moving forward to ensure that the science supporting agency decisions is transparent and available for evaluation by the public and stakeholders.”

The measure would make it more difficult to enact new clean air and water rules because many studies detailing the links between pollution and disease rely on personal health information gathered under confidentiality agreements. And, unlike a version of the proposal that surfaced in early 2018, this one could apply retroactively to public health regulations already in place.

“This means the E.P.A. can justify rolling back rules or failing to update rules based on the best information to protect public health and the environment, which means more dirty air and more premature deaths,” said Paul Billings, senior vice president for advocacy at the American Lung Association.

Public health experts warned that studies that have been used for decades — to show, for example, that mercury from power plants impairs brain development, or that lead in paint dust is tied to behavioral disorders in children — might be inadmissible when existing regulations come up for renewal.

If you believe what this is really about is more “transparency” I’ve got a bridge to sell you.  I guess if you don’t like what the science has to say about the best policy, just do everything you can to keep the science out.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

2 Responses to Science? We don’t need know stinkin’ science.

  1. Lawrence Wittenberg says:

    Please god let next November come as soon as possible. It was inconceivable (no longer is inconceivable) that Trump and his appointees could effect so much so quickly. If you thought this, then you were wrong. Trump has reached down and impacted the lives of Americans for the worse in so many ways. Hopefully the democratic president elected next November will be able to change these horrors and the EPA and other agencies that are now speaking Trump instead of science or even English. I hope that there are people smart enough to fix the federal court appointees for life, but I am afraid we may be stuck with them. Maybe they can be assigned no cases and will quit from boredom, but I don’t see that happening either. Maybe next time people will understand that staying home or voting for an unelectable 3rd party candidate in protest in some a sensible way to spend your vote. Choices have consequences are I pray every day that this great country of ours will be able to survive the time of Trump.

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