Senators join in EPA ‘secret science’ charge

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Eight GOP senators have introduced a bill to block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from using undisclosed scientific studies to justify its regulations, joining House Republicans in the “secret science” accusation.

The EPA would be prohibited from using science that is not public in proposing, finalizing or disseminated rules under the bill, the sponsors said.

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“Since the American people bear the expensive costs of EPA red tape, they deserve to have access to the science behind the EPA’s proposals,” Sen. John BarrassoJohn BarrassoMcAuliffe: I wouldn't want a 'caretaker' in Kaine's Senate seat Goonies, Pokemon and ‘transsexual shake’ speak to raucous scene at convention GOP passes rules vote over outcry from Trump opponents MORE (R-Wyo.) said in a statement Wednesday.

“For years, the EPA has based its rules and regulations on secret data that they refuse to publish and make available to all Americans,” he said. “If the administration wants to finally live up to its claim of being the ‘most transparent administration’ in U.S. history, they’ll immediately support our bill.” 

A similar bill in the House, sponsored by Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), passed the Science Committee last month.

Republicans have repeatedly charged the EPA with using “secret science,” and a group of senators led by Barrasso and Sen. David VitterDavid VitterTim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense David Duke will bank on racial tensions in Louisiana Senate bid Former KKK leader David Duke running for Senate MORE (R-La.) made the accusation in an April letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyConvention shows Democrats support fracking, activists on the fringe Overnight Energy: Officials close in on new global emissions deal EPA chief: US, negotiators nearing new emissions deal MORE.

McCarthy responded shortly thereafter, shooting back at the charge in a speech.

“If EPA is being accused of 'secret science' because we rely on real scientists to conduct research, and independent scientists to peer review it, and scientists who’ve spent a lifetime studying the science to reproduce it — then so be it," McCarthy said in April.

She accused Republicans of using the “secret science” claim when they don’t agree with the EPA’s policies.