When a Republican Congressman calls his bill the HONEST Act, you know you have to watch out! If you are going to protest this one, you have to do it today, because the vote is tomorrow.
Who to call: This bill is in the U.S. House of Representatives, so Rep. Don Young
Phone: (202) 225-5765
Fax: (202) 225-0425 (I’ve heard that faxes are surprisingly effective, so if you can’t call, try this)
Script for the call (if you want one): 5calls HONEST Act page
From the Union of Concerned Scientists – A Dishonest Proposal: The House Science Committee Resurrects EPA Secret Science Nonsense in the HONEST Act:
This week, Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Lamar Smith will officially mark up a new (but not really improved) version of his long championed but always nonsensical Secret Science Act. Now rebranded as the Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act (HONEST Act), the bill effectively prevents the EPA from using the weight of scientific evidence to protect public health and the environment.
As usual, 5calls did a good job of summarizing the problem. Here is an excerpt from their summary:
These requirements deviate from the established norms of the scientific community and are designed to cripple scientific research at the EPA. It allows industry lobbyists and EPA-opposed politicians to delay or block credible peer-reviewed studies. For example, the requirement that all scientific results be reproducible is often infeasible (such as when studying one-off events like the Deepwater Horizon disaster or Hurricane Katrina), or prohibitively expensive (such as decades-long public health studies involving thousands of participants). Similarly, the requirement that all data be publicly available can be prohibitive; redacting personally identifiable information from public health studies can require thousands of hours of labor, and other findings may depend on tightly guarded industry or trade secrets. [Emphasis mine. – Mary]
This bill is really Orwellian; it uses the language of openness and science to do the opposite – allow industry to muddy the waters and waste EPA money. The language of this bill sounds like it would improve the EPA, but it won’t.
You can check out the official Congressional page for this bill at https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1430?r=61.
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