The EPA is Becoming More Transparent, and Liberals Hate It

Scientists, professors, environmentalists and even many ordinary people are furious at EPA Director Scott Pruitt’s decision to require public disclosure of data used for research.

While this is certainly a new policy that the EPA has never embraced before, the push for transparency in this field is hardly new. Following is a peek into why the new research guidelines are so polarizing, and what they would mean for current and future scientific research.

For years, the EPA has relied on scientific research that has never been independently reproduced. The primary reason for this is the fact that many people who provide data for a particular research project do so on the condition that they remain anonymous. This means that researchers cannot tell anyone, even the government, the names of people who participated in a particular study. Without vital information regarding the people in a study, other researchers have no way of proving on their own that a particular study is fully accurate. Even so, this has not stopped the EPA from issuing important guidelines and laws based on these secretive studies.

One example of this was Michelle Bell’s 2004 study on short-term exposure to air pollution. Bell analyzed large quantities of health data from people in nearly one hundred urban areas around the United States, and came to the conclusion that even a short amount of exposure to air pollution can cause harm to the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Her study was used by the Obama administration to craft the Clean Power Plan, which was later blocked by the Supreme Court after 27 states, various business groups, and a number of companies took the government to court over the implementation of the plan.

It is important to note that the Clean Power Plan, had it been implemented, would have devastated the economy of a number of states, negatively affecting the lives of millions of people. Businesses, state governments and millions of ordinary citizens would have had their lives turned upside down due to research projects that have never been replicated.

When viewed in this light, EPA Director Scott Pruitt’s decision to require public disclosure of all raw data used in scientific research for EPA-related work doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. Scientists and researchers would still be able to conduct studies and research projects as they have been; however, the EPA wouldn’t consider using these studies as the basis of government regulations unless the raw data could be made available for others to replicate the research.

The impact of this decision is sure to be felt in the scientific community both now and in the future. Scientists around the country are furious that they would have to choose between providing anonymity to people who agree to participate in the study and having their work used to craft important government regulations.

Given the fact that Scott Pruitt has never been a fan of the Environmental Protection Agency, many are accusing him of creating this rule to stymie scientific research in general. The backlash is understandable, given the fact that scientists and researchers are used to not having the accuracy of their studies questioned by the EPA. Even so, the idea of requiring that studies used by the EPA disclose the raw data behind their research is not new.

In March 2017, the House of Representatives approved the HONEST Act, a bill that would require that all EPA regulations be based on publicly available scientific data. Conservative advocates have long criticized the government for basing guidelines on secretive scientific research, especially given the fact that the research is funded by taxpayers in the first place.

Naturally, the move to require scientific data to be more accessible to the general public is likely to remain controversial for a long time. Scientists have a point when they note that it will be hard to get people to participate in studies if their personal data become public information. At the same time, it is also hard to make people accept government regulations that will ruin their livelihood when the data behind this research has never been independently verified. Requiring scientists to make their raw data available to others if the study will affect government regulations helps to ensure that millions of lives are not upended as the result of a single study.

~ Conservative Zone


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22 thoughts on “The EPA is Becoming More Transparent, and Liberals Hate It”

  1. What’s difference between EPA rules that effect million and pharmaceutical research that effects far fewer people? And what would preclude the use of altered or fake science? Chicken sh__ liberals.

  2. The left wing loons cheered for Barry – whoever the hell he really is – and the Clintons for throwing all kinds of money to their “buddies” and campaign contributors in the solar energy business without giving any thought at all to how much toxic material is created in the solar panel production process – and where all that toxic material will be disposed of. Californian’s want to make all the money from solar panel production and kiss their own asses as mega – ecological contributors – they just want all the waste to shipped elsewhere – out of state. How benevolent of them. The left wing loons also scream for open borders and gun control. Once again without having put any thought into it. First open borders will make it so much easier to smuggle in all kinds of “illegal” – gasp – guns as well as much more dangerous forms of weaponry. Second with all of these people coming across the “open’ border there will be so much less money available for left wing welfare – food stamps etc. They may in fact be starving themselves out. Of course with welfare and food stamp spending totally out of control a smart businessman might just see it best to cancel them programs altogether. Or at least cut off California – of all the people in the U.S. that receive food stamps – 34% live in California. I wonder how many illegals cross the border each month to pick up “their” benefits and head right back across the border with them?

  3. Very interesting!! I attended college in a scientific curriculum, and all of the work I did in class involved the necessity of collecting all experimental data in a notebook. My class work was graded based upon what the notebook contained, the actual answer was considered much less important. It was continuously pounded into my head that the log had to show the exact test set up, the data that was collected and all calculations leading to the final proof of the theory behind the test and it had to be possible to replicate the entire test using what was in my notebook. It was also stressed that in scientific testing, transparency and honesty was primary-the fact that the “scientists” of the global warming theory want to keep their data secret tells me that they are not honest (data is being fudged). Not wanting to put your name on the final result says the same thing.

  4. I couldn’t agree more with Big Ed. Government bureaucrats love to use “studies” and “data” that seem unreplicatable. Hopefully other agencies will follow this Pruitt lead.

  5. Why would an honest scientist have a problem with their name being attached to a scientific study? They do it all the time. The real problem is that this anonymity allows environmental fanatics to push bad policy without any personal accountability.

  6. What??? Do you mean my politically motivated conclusions would be subjected to independent verification? How dare you? Seriously I could stated that my pet pig could sing opera if I didn’t have to prove it.

  7. The first premise of science is that the finding or test result could be duplicated by anyone, anywhere, at any time. Connecting a name to the data allows confirmation that the test conditions or analysis premises are the same for the validator as was used in the original report.

  8. Sadly, science has become any other business. And scientists like making good money and driving nice cars, too.

    Where does this money come from? And where does it go?

    Any scientist who discovers that marijuana isn’t as bad as heroin, or that climate change is a hoax…won’t be getting much more money to fund their research.

    Any time to read about “scientific findings” dig around to see who funded the study…the subsequent results won’t surprise you as much.

  9. And this means that the left will not get to stuff their pockets anymore with taxpayers money, their perks will be drastically reduced. Pruitt us doing the right thing, we have had too many harebrained schemes pushed down our throats it will be good to see the reality of some of these and know they can be approved or disproved.

  10. The Conservative Zone e-mail forwarding this article is captioned thusly: “The Real Reason Liberals Are Attacking the EPA.” The implication in that little diatribe that the sole reason environmentalists are opposing Pruitt because of his public disclosure ruling is patently incomplete and incorrect. It is not some dispute over releasing “raw data” that impels responsible environmentalist individuals and organizations to oppose Pruitt. Contrary to what this article alleges, “raw data” are not necessarily essential to adjudging the validity of a given scientific report. Scientists are required to describe the methodologies used to reach conclusions and those descriptions ordinarily are included in reports in such detail that the described methodologies can be intelligently critiqued or even replicated. From personal government experience, I can confirm that “raw data” have been held by at least one federal agency, the Department of the Interior, to be subject to disclosure, with rare exceptions, under the Freedom of Information Act. Such an interpretation has been made by that department in regard to research undertaken by or for the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. I have no issue with similar releases of “raw data” by the U.S. EPA. Having said that, however, I submit that Environmentalist objections to Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator are and from the beginning have been based upon the glaring unfitness of the man to lead and control the agency’s environmental programs, and have been repeatedly and publicly stated in detail. These objections began well before Pruitt issued his ruling on release of “raw data.” Thus is it disingenuous and deceptive to describe Pruitt’s recent decision as “The Real Reason Liberals Are Attacking the EPA.”

  11. having dealt with both Federal and State versions of the EPA for more years than I can to count, when it comes to studies that agree with their agenda don’t confuse the EPA with facts their minds are made up

  12. It is sad that some politicians whom are given the trust of our president miss uses that authority and treats us tax payers as their own piggy bank. If the director of the EPA needs so much security, and travel expenses, maybe trump can find that if indeed he abuses his authority, that he can be replaced with someone with like minded that hates this huge monster created by the liberals, whom use it as a personal tool to run businesses into the ground, by falsely drummed up charges and never ending court expense to black mail some people or corporations. I know for a fact that EPA has an attack arm to solicit money out of companies, which drives up cost that is passed on to the customers. Businesses whom fight them most often lose, and the attorney’s real in all the profits, no wonder most law firms give handsomely to the democrat party. Pruitt better get a handle on his personal cost and those subordinates under his leadership. I am sure that maybe some is true, but much can be said about the fake news! THE SWAMP NEEDS TO BE DRAINED, AND TERM LIMITS MAYBE THE BEST ANSWER !!!

  13. Can’t believe EPA research resulted in changes to laws, enacted under the Obama Administration, that we’re based on non- verifiable, non-reproducible, possibly completely invalid, and by anonymous scientist!!!!
    Since when has the science community ever let such research stand?!! Could these be some of the financially vetted, foreign students that are beholden to the liberal open borders, non-citizens get special consideration and full benefits to our top schools?? Disgusting!!
    Fake science!! What other lies have the America
    People and our children been represented as “scientific fact”???

  14. Perhaps they will now consider reducing the EPA to an advisory only status without any enforcement powers. The EPA has long been the equivalent of the GESTOPO of the environment.

  15. About time we become more accountable. Why they dislike this because they don’t want to be put in the light. We need transparency. MAGA!

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