If you can say anything about activities in the U.S. House during the 2014 lame duck session, it would begin with the word “Hobbling.” First up in the house was HR1422, a bill to stuff “for profit” industry experts on the “scientific” board that advises the EPA and then prohibit the deposed scientific experts from saying ANYTHING regarding the results of their experience and research. But that wasn’t enough. Next up was HR4012, the Secret Science Reform Act of 2014.
According to the Summary on Thomas.gov:
Secret Science Reform Act of 2014 – Amends the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from proposing, finalizing, or disseminating a covered action unless all scientific and technical information relied on to support such action is specifically identified and publicly available in a manner sufficient for independent analysis and substantial reproduction of research results. Includes as a covered action a risk, exposure, or hazard assessment, criteria document, standard, limitation, regulation, regulatory impact analysis, or guidance.
If that isn’t a classic definition of “hobbling” the EPA into a state of inability to perform their legislative responsibilities, I don’t know what is. This bill intentionally prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing regulations. This bill mandates that unless they release any and all information they reviewed in arriving at any need for regulation, they are prohibited from issuing said regulations.
You might think that is reasonable, but would you want your medical records published for the world to peruse and discuss publicly? How about their Corporate master’s records, trade secrets and various other sundry industry data? We know they’re not going to allow that to become publicly searchable data for anybody and everybody to peruse. Thus, if they can’t publish the research data, they can’t issue any regulation that just might keep us from getting cancer from some industrial discharge, nor would they be able to ensure the water we bathe in and drink is uncontaminated by industrial toxins.
But if that isn’t enough to prevent the issuance of ANY new regulations, reliance on fewer studies and less data (since they can’t release sensitive medical data, trade secrets, etc.), litigation and Congressional hearing costs will rise, potentially exponentially.
Once again, Republicans are spitting in the wind and looking to breed fear and hatred of a regulatory agency that they themselves created during the Nixon Administration. Sadly, they’re claiming to fix something, but in reality, they’re disingenuously hobbling EPA’s effectiveness in protecting the environment and the population at large, ALL while they worship at the alter of the almighty dollar beside their corporate masters.
OH, and did I mention they still intend to dismantle all opportunity average Americans can actually purchase affordable health care should any of them just happen to get sick from unregulated pollution and corporate toxic waste they’d be able to dump at will?
I doubt they’d be able to ram it through the Senate during the lame duck session, but if they did, President Obama will be dusting off another VETO pen upon it’s arrival at his desk
Note: Representative Mark Amodei NV-CD2 proudly stood up and voted AYE for this shame.
Related Posts —
- CBO Report: H.R. 4012, Secret Science Reform Act of 2014
- STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY — H.R. 4012 – Secret Science Reform Act of 2014