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house Bill H.R. 1430

Do EPA Regulations and Assessments Need to be Based Only on Science That’s Publicly Available?

Argument in favor

This bill would make the science the EPA considers when it takes actions like creating regulations more transparent. That data should be publicly available so that others can reproduce and verify the studies used by the EPA.

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03/27/2017
First of all, science that hasn't been replicated and peer-reviewed (which is to say science that hasn't been publicly verified) isn't science - it's speculation. What's FAR more important, though, is that EPA regulations need to be based on the Constitution. The ultimate authority to which all government bodies are accountable, regardless of whether or not their policies are based on science, is the Constitution. That's the primary concern, and if it isn't met then having a scientific basis is irrelevant. But you can't say that, can you? Because then there wouldn't even be an EPA at all.
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Harry's Opinion
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03/27/2017
Why would an unconstitutional arm of the executive branch want to use unpublished studies as bases for regulation? Unless you can answer that question you must vote YEA.
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Loraki's Opinion
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03/29/2017
Countable member jameslj said: "At the very, very least the science needs to be publicly available and reproduceable. Better, the EPA would need to base any regulation on peer-reviewed science from independent scientists. A huge problem with the regulatory milieu in this country right now is that the agencies err on the side of restricting freedom, rather than allowing innovation to flourish. It's absolutely crucial that these agencies be reined in, or else we will continue to see little to no growth in the economy. Domestic regulation (including wage controls), not China and Mexico, is the greatest threat to American productivity." I think he's right! As for those of you who think this bill is an attack on science, I say "HOGWASH!" I see it as just the opposite! If a scientist has any personal integrity and objectivity where his work is concerned, he should WELCOME public scrutiny and input! He should WANT to see if there are any flaws in his work. Scientific progress happens when there's collaboration. Science should have no room for the ego-driven or the scientist with a political agenda! Also, as Countable member Byron said: "Politicized science is its own religion based on faith in their theories and viewpoints. Science needs to be exposed as its own dog eat dog, turf protecting political regime. On the question of other viewpoints such as the possibility that God exists..."absence of proof is not proof of absence." This is a quote by one of NIH's own card carrying scientists. Very often in so called scientific findings, the WISH is the father of the discovery. In other words belief often guides the biology!" I VOTE YEA! I'm tired of them basing their regulations on what they see in chickens' entrails! They never met a U.N. agenda they didn't like! Updated 04/08/2017: LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this opinion given by Countable member "operaman"! "Science? Who's science? We certainly heard that Climate Change has been proven because 1,000s of "proclaimed" scientists say it's so. Then we read that NASA/NOAA has fudged the data or simply made a "educated" guess. And even if Climate Change were true, all the money citizens would pay for it's reduction only changes future temperature by 0.2%C. Maybe a CO2 level of 450ppm would be perfect for growing plants and would also increase O2. Carbon tax would do nothing except make taxpayers poorer while transferring America's wealth to foreign lands. I vote for real science and proven theories based on real facts that can be duplicated multiple time. Addendum: Judicial Watch filed a Feb. 6, 2017, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking communications between National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientist Thomas Karl and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren over the course of Barack Obama’s presidency."
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Argument opposed

The requirements put forth by this bill could be very costly if the EPA tries to use the same number of scientific studies that it has in the past. It would limit the EPA’s ability to use science that isn’t reproducible or transparent.

Beannachd's Opinion
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03/27/2017
I am writing to ask that you remember that the EPA was formed after our our rivers and lakes caught on fire because they were so polluted, which is what happens when companies are not regulated and those regulations enforced. In fact, river fires were common before the Clean Water Act. There were at least 13 on the Cuyahoga alone, but rivers in Baltimore, Detroit, Buffalo, Philadelphia, and elsewhere had fires as well. The EPA already bases decisions on science that is peer reviewed - meaning it has been reproduced and scientists have already torn it apart to verify it. That is literally the scientific method. This is a thinly veiled attempt to make it so costly to the agency that they are rendered unable to do their job. I do not want to go back to a time before corporations were forced to be responsible for the damage they caused. The Brownfields that are still unusable without major expense that we taxpayers bear are another consequence of corporations not held responsible. The EPA is responsible for our air and water being cleaner than it has been in nearly 70 years. Our own Mill Creek in Cincinnati is finally clean enough to bear life again. It was literally so toxic it was dead. Please vote NO on this transparent attempt to destroy the EPA. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/06/22/the-fable-of-the-burning-river-45-years-later/
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Ryan's Opinion
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03/27/2017
It's the "publicly available" part of this that's disturbing. I know I might sound nuts, but with the way this administration is trying to control news/facts and the way it is burying it head in the sand concerning science, it seems to me that if they were able to suppress information based on these two characteristics, they've already shown, then they could pretty much do what they wanted to the environment claiming the information/science isn't publicly available and so doesn't count.
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Cecilia's Opinion
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03/27/2017
Particularly as the administration has forced all agencies to stop publicizing their work - this furthers that gag order.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Environment and Public Works
  • The house Passed March 29th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 228 Yea / 194 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
    IntroducedMarch 8th, 2017

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    I am pretty sure the science is in on climate change and 99.9% of scientists agree that we are responsible. I am afraid the term "publicly available" would allow the deniers to say it isn't so. We need the EPA because left without oversight we have proven we won't do the right thing. Why, except corporate greed, would we dismantle the EPA? Vote no.
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    I read the regulation, the yeas and the nays, the summary and the endorsements. Very Sneaky, convoluted and misleading. I voted NAY as recommended by Union of concerned Scientists.
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    This bill is an obvious attempt to discredit and cast aspersions on the EPA. Anyone who is in favor of the bill clearly doesn't understand how scientific publishing works. Despite progress in the open access movement, many scientific journals are not "publicly available online" -- a subscription is often needed. Although many journals can be accessed through public and academic libraries, it's unclear in the bill whether subscription-based journals would count. In addition, research centers and NGOs around the world publish information that's relevant to the EPA that may only be accessible through in-person visits or library services. This bill is nonsense and is designed to push political buttons.
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    The EPA already uses data from studies that have been rigorously analyzed and reproduced. It's literally what the scientific method entails. This is a very obvious attempt to bog down the EPA with unnecessary hoops to jump through in order to prevent them from being able to regulate big corporations' emissions. If you have some semblance of care for your constituents and the longevity of this beautiful state, you will vote to oppose this bill. It's time to put partisan politics aside and act to protect our air, rivers, and lakes.
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    It's another hoop for the EPA to jump through to pass regulations that are for the benefit of mankind.
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    Science is by definition transparent and reproducible. This is an obvious attempt at suppressing all science in relation to the environment.
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    I like any laws that keep the govt transparent. Laws shouldn't be made if the science behind it isn't solid.
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    This is unnecessary when one considers how scientific research works already, and this would appear to be an attempt to obstruct the EPA from imposing environmental safeguards that ultimately allow for a livable climate and clean air and water, in order to protect big polluters, especially in the fossil fuel industry. I have a doctorate in psychology and had much training in scientific methodology. Research is subjected already to rigorous standards and peer review before publication in scientific journals. Also, scientists already have a process of doing research to see if others' results can be replicated; the accumulation of evidence from repeated studies on the same subject is how scientists already operate and reach conclusions. Science is already transparent...anyone who is a member of an academic library or institution (or goes to a university library for example) can peruse research in journals. Also, if only raw data is provided to the public, a person untrained in statistical research analysis and research methods could easily misunderstand or misinterpret the data. So in the end, I say vote no, as this bill probably has an agenda of supporting profits for polluters over the safety and well being of the public.
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    The EPA shouldn't base regulations on data that's isn't replicable anyways because if it isn't able to be replicated, there's no way of knowing it's accurate to begin with.
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    I fear this is intended to slow work on climate change. Generally it sounds good, but seems in this case intended to tie the hands of climate scientists and the EPA, as part of the Republican agenda to advance corporate interests over those of American people.
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    This is an attack on science. Peer review is sufficient for ensuring good science and reproducibility.
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    A gag order is a gag order even when by another name. Decisions need be based on SCIENCE not policy. The decision to withhold from the public information that belongs to the public is questionable in and of itself. Carcinogens are remarkably insensitive to administrative policy. Don't republicans have kids?
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    This is clearly only a thinly veiled attempt to gut the EPA. I personally like having clean air to breathe and water to drink. If that means that companies who produce commodities I use have to do that at an extra expense to either their shareholders or myself so be it.
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    As a scientist, I know that it can take years for meaningful results to be published. In addition, many critical findings from observational studies could not and should not ethically be attempted at reproduction in a randomized control trial. In other areas, I might agree with waiting for reproducible published findings, but the potential harm to the environment and to the public health from delaying an environmental response is too severe to justify delay. Beyond the scientific reasons to vote "NO", this smells like yet another attempt to weaken environmental regulations. Please continue to stand strong in defense of the EPA!
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    This is just a sugarcoated attack on the EPA. While worded to sound reasonable, in effect it would make it unnecessarily tough for the EPA to effectively do their job, especially when paired with the proposed budget cuts to an already underfunded agency. If we want to require studies to be replicated and publicly available, great, but we must then provide the funding to make that reasonably possible.
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    The current process used by the EPA already requires significant due diligence. This change will only add cost to an agency already facing heavy budget reductions and further restrict their ability to do their jobs.
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    Looks like another attack on the very science the bill's sponsor wants to be made more "transparent". So peer review is no longer an accepted measure for decision making? Raw data needs to be published ostensibly for transparency but I'm guessing is to slow down environmental protections and muddy the process.
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    The word "reproducible" is a problem when making projections based upon recognized scientific principles. This bill is an attack upon science.
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    The obvious naming of this measure should send a clear message: the sponsors are questioning the "honesty" of science they don't like. Science does not lie or hide fact.
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    My concern is also that there's a trick to this law. As the Trump admin clamps down on government funded research and publishing it, this law would diminish what the EPA could use as research.
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