This is one bill that no congressman can claim he has not had read completely…
At the same time, U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, today introduced the Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act of 2017 (HONEST Act). Simultaneously, U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), and original cosponsor Chairman Lamar Smith, introduced the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017. Both bills promote an open and honest Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as preserving the integrity of the scientific review process.
Chairman Lamar Smith: “An open and honest scientific process is long overdue at EPA. American taxpayers have often had to foot the bill for regulations and rules based on hidden science that has not been available for review by the public. We want to change that. The HONEST Act of 2017 is about ensuring public access to the very science that underpins rules and regulations by EPA. This bill would prohibit any future regulations from taking effect unless the underlying scientific data is public.
“The Science Advisory Board at EPA has the opportunity to include a more balanced group of scientists to assist EPA in fulfilling its core mission. With the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017, conflicts of interest will be reduced. This bill would ensure that scientists advising EPA on regulatory decisions are not the same scientists receiving EPA grants. As both of these bills move forward, our committee is working hard to preserve EPA’s scientific integrity and to help strengthen EPA’s internal review process.”
Vice Chairman Frank Lucas: “On numerous occasions we have seen how government regulations from agencies like EPA can impact the lives of millions of Americans, whether it’s increasing the cost of monthly utility bills or diminishing the availability of job opportunities. Nearly four decades ago, Congress created the Science Advisory Board (SAB) to look over the shoulder of the EPA and ensure sound science is guiding their rules and policy. Today we introduced the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017 to strengthen the accountability and transparency of the SAB by eliminating potential conflicts of interest, requiring members of the board to disclose their professional backgrounds, and opening the board’s research to public review. Science and data are invaluable tools in helping us navigate complex policy issues, and I believe this bill will help restore credibility and trust in a federal agency that lost much of it in the last eight years.”
As a reminder, Scott Pruitt, an outspoken critic of Obama-era climate rules, leads the Environmental Protection Agency – the very agency he has clashed with in the past – ushering in what are likely to be dramatic changes to the agency.
As Bloomberg reported upon his confirmation, Pruitt built his political career fighting federal regulations he said stripped power away from states, often confronting the very agency he will now head. As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt led or joined more than a dozen lawsuits challenging EPA rules governing power plant pollution, carbon dioxide emissions and wetlands.
Pruitt promised senators last month that his “cooperative federalism” approach would not mean an end to nationwide environmental regulation, but rather “meaningful collaboration between the EPA and the states to achieve important environmental objectives.”
“The states are not mere vessels of federal will; they don’t exist simply to carry out federal dictates from Washington,” Pruitt said at his confirmation hearing.
Pruitt joined more than two dozen other states in challenging the Clean Power Plan, saying the Obama administration overstepped its authority by establishing statewide goals and giving regulators a variety of ways to meet them. Under a plan he set out in 2014, the regulation would be limited to imposing carbon-cutting mandates on individual power plants, resulting in relatively negligible reductions. Some conservatives want Pruitt to go further and undo the legal underpinning for that regulation: the EPA’s 2009 conclusion that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare.
According to the Hill, Republicans said Pruitt will bring much-needed change to an agency that exemplifies eight years of executive overreach by the administration of former President Obama.
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Judging by the bill above – that ‘change’ is very drastic!