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CEI Praises Senate Subcommittee Hearing on Sound and Transparent Science Rule

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Ahead of today’s Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittee hearing on oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency’s implementation of the Sound and Transparent Science rule, CEI fellows commented on the importance of the rule to the future of regulatory science.

CEI Senior Fellow Angela Logomasini said:

“We are encouraged that Congress is taking an interest in EPA’s science transparency rule, which is designed to promote government transparency and accountability. EPA’s proposed science transparency rule is modest, allowing the EPA to be flexible in cases where confidential information deserves protection, and will improve the science our regulators rely upon to inform rulemaking. Transparency in regulatory science is valuable, achievable, and necessary for making sure important regulations work and provide the benefits they claim.”

CEI Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis said:

“Science that is pivotal to significant regulatory action should meet high standards of objectivity.

“However, regulatory science is inherently conflicted. Agencies have an incentive to invest in research that promotes their agendas, while agency-funded researchers have incentives to please their patrons. Consequently, agency peer review tends to promote rather than check group think and ideological bias.

“To address this problem, EPA is following James Madison's famous dictum that "ambition must be made to counteract ambition." EPA proposes to (1) make regulatory science more available to the public for independent testing, (2) increase the range of interests participating in EPA’s science advisory bodies, and (3) invite public debate on the agency's long-held but uncritically-accepted Linear-No-Threshold assumption that air pollution is deadly at any level above zero.

“Today’s hearing should give Congress and the public an opportunity to understand EPA’s deep-seated biases and the efforts the agency is now making to counteract them.”

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