A Senate committee voted Tuesday to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from using ‘secret science’ to back its regulations.
The vote in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee came after the GOP-controlled House repeatedly approved the bill. It previous was stalled in the Democratic-majority Senate.
Under the measure, which President Obama has threatened to veto if the Senate passes it, the EPA would only be allowed to use scientific studies whose detailed results are posted publicly online.
“EPA has a long history of relying on science that was not created by the agency itself. This often means that the science is not available to the public, and therefore cannot be reproduced and verified,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the bill’s sponsor, said at a committee hearing.
“What this bill is trying to accomplish is to make sure that we strengthen the scientific information the EPA uses to make regulations, guidance and assessments,” he continued.
But Democrats said the bill would unnecessary cut in half the studies that the EPA can use, because research is often uses proprietary, health-related or otherwise restricted data.
“This bill would force them to use whatever science was available after legal challenges generate from the broad language of this legislation,” said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)