House Bills Threaten Independent Science

Friday, July 14, 2017
The House of Representatives passed two bills that threaten independent science and the process by which EPA forms policy to protect the environment and human health.
 
The so-called HONEST Act (H.R. 1430) would bar the EPA from considering any peer-reviewed scientific work that is not publicly available.
On the surface, this seems to increase transparency. In reality, supporters of this bill seek to delay and challenge science that might confirm undesirable outcomes for industry. If passed by the Senate, this dishonest bill will cripple the EPA’s ability to develop effective environmental policy and public health safeguards.
                                                      
The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act (H.R. 1431) would bar non-industry scientists with current EPA funding (the scientific experts) from membership on the EPA Science Advisory Board. It would also give parties not interested in sound environmental policy unlimited time to present arguments to the advisory board. This would allow industry conflict of interests during the review of scientific data.
                                                            
I have urged Senators Corker and Alexander to vote no on these bills. Unfortunately, Representative Chuck Fleischmann voted yes on both of these bills. Representative Fleischmann’s yes vote confirms his priorities are with industry but not environmental protection and the health of Tennesseans.
                                                                                             
Dr. Loren Hayes

Chattanooga



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