The Environmental Protection Agency for years has issued costly clean air rules based, in part, on two '90s-era studies linking air pollution with death.
But, critics say, the same agency has stymied efforts to access the data behind them. The transparency concerns have Republican lawmakers on a new campaign to end the use of what they dub "secret science."
"Why would the EPA want to hide this information from the American people?" House science committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, asked EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy at a hearing last week.Most of the regulations are based on two studies done in the 1990's. The studies contain raw data that include personal information that the original researchers want to keep private. Agreed.
1) The studies have never been reproduced (replication is an important concept in science).
2) Original research HAS to be available to be checked. This has also been the problem with checking global warming models and the data on which they are based. The original is data is "not available" to be checked.
3) Twenty-year-old research, that has to be the basis of current regulations, and must be kept secret, because "this is how science works"? Really?
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy:
"The EPA totally supports both transparency as well as a strong peer-reviewed independent science process, but the bill I'm afraid I don't think will get us there...""Peer review" has nothing to do with topic at hand. In this context, it is an appeal to authority logical fallacy.
"I don't actually need the raw data in order to develop science, that's not how it's done. ... I do not know of what value raw data is to the general public."It is not for the general public, it is so other scientists can evaluate it.