Committee Investigation into EPA's Secret Science
Background on EPA Subpoena Resolution: Over the past two years, the Science, Space, and Technology Committee has repeatedly requested that the EPA release the data it uses to justify virtually every Clean Air Act regulation proposed and finalized by the Obama administration. As one example, by its own estimates the EPA’s proposed limits on ozone will cost taxpayers $90 billion per year, making it the most costly regulation the federal government has ever issued. Some of the data in question is up to 30-years-old.
In September 2011, the EPA’s then-Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy committed to make the data sets available to the Committee. The Committee has sent numerous letters following up on the request and Ms. McCarthy’s promise to make the data available. Even though Ms. McCarthy now leads the agency, she has yet to provide the promised data to the Committee.
On August 1, 2013, the Science Committee voted to authorize Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) to issue a subpoena to the EPA to obtain the data in question. This was the first congressional subpoena the Science Committee has issued in 21 years.
Chairman Smith: “This subpoena could have been avoided. Unfortunately, we’ve been put in this position by an agency that willfully disregards congressional requests and makes its rules using undisclosed data. After two years of failing to respond, it’s clear that the EPA is not going to give the American people what they deserve—the truth about regulations.
“The EPA should not base its regulations on secret data. By denying the Committee’s request, the agency prevents Congress from fulfilling its oversight responsibilities and denies the American people the ability to verify EPA’s claims. The EPA’s lack of cooperation contributes to the suspicion that the data sets do not support the agency’s actions. The American people deserve all of the facts and have a right to know whether the EPA is using good science.”
Under the EPA’s current process, only a select few who support the EPA’s agenda are authorized to access and analyze the data. But this ignores the need for congressional oversight of taxpayer-funded research. During the Committee meeting, Chairman Smith made clear that any personal health information that is in the data will be protected and removed before the data is made public. He asserted that ensuring public access to taxpayer funded data that is used in regulations is good science and good government.
Smith: EPA Stands in Default of Subpoena - September 3, 2013
Smith to Johnson: EPA Transparency is Good Government - August 8, 2013
Smith Subpoenas EPA's Secret Science - August 1, 2013
Republicans Question President's Science Policies and Priorities - June 20, 2012
Republicans Critical of President's FY13 R&D Budget Proposal - February 17, 2012
Harris and Broun Question Administration's Environmental Cost-Benefit Analyses -
November 15, 2011
Chairman Harris Calls for Transparency in EPA Health Data - September 23, 2011
Witnesses Denounce EPA Cross-State Air Pollution Rule - September 15, 2011
Correspondence with EPA
Chairman Smith Letter to EPA Administrator McCarthy re EPA Subpoena - September 3, 2013
Chairman Smith and Chairman Stewart Subpoena to the EPA - August 1, 2013
Chairman Smith and Chairman Stewart Letter to EPA Perciasepe - June 12, 2013
Senator Vitter and Chairman Smith Letter to EPA McCarthy - March 4, 2013
Rep. Hall, Smith, and Harris Letter to EPA Jackson - December 13, 2012
OSTP Dr. Holdren Response to Rep. Smith February 17, 2012 Request - February 28, 2012
OIRA/OMB Sunstein Response to Rep. Harris November 15, 2011, December 12, 2011 Letter - December 22, 2011
Rep. Hall, Harris, and Broun Letter to OIRA/OMB Sunstein - December 12, 2011
EPA McCarthy Response to Rep. Harris September 22, 2011 Letter - November 30, 2011
Rep. Harris and Broun Letter to OIRA/OMB Sunstein - November 15, 2011
Rep. Harris Letter to EPA McCarthy - September 22, 2011
Full Committee Business Meeting
August 1, 2013