The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may soon be required by federal law to base its policies on actual sciencewrites Benny Huang on the Constitution website
—and of course environmentalists are livid about it. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) reintroduced a bill known as the Secret Science Reform Act that would prohibit the EPA from “proposing, finalizing, or disseminating regulations or assessments based on science that is not transparent or reproducible.” The bill was originally introduced in 2014 though it did not clear all congressional hurdles. Barack Obama—our most super-sciencey president ever—vowed to veto it if ever reached his desk.
I’ve honestly tried to understand what kind of objection any sane human being could possibly have to this bill and I think I’ve discovered what it is. Are you ready? If the EPA has to be transparent it can’t operate. That’s it.
Don’t believe me? Here’s the opening sentence from an oppositional op-ed by Dianna Wray of Houston Press: “A lot Republicans hate the Environmental Protection Agency, but have left it to San Antonio Republican Representative Lamar Smith to come up with a bill that, if passed, could actually stop the agency from doing just about anything.”