The U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday passed a bill that would ban subject-matter experts from advising the EPA on regulations while opening the door to such advice from industry representatives with no specific expertise and a clear political, anti-regulatory agenda.
You can’t make up this kind of stuff.
As reported by Lindsay Abrams at Salon.com, the bill forbids scientific experts from participating in “advisory activities” that either directly or indirectly involve their own work. She went on to explain:
In case that wasn’t clear: experts would be forbidden from sharing their expertise in their own research — the bizarre assumption, apparently, being that having conducted peer-reviewed studies on a topic would constitute a conflict of interest.
Or, as Union of Concerned Scientists Director Andrew A. Rosenberg said in an editorial for RollCall:
“In other words, academic scientists who know the most about a subject can’t weigh in, but experts paid by corporations who want to block regulations can.”
President Obama has threatened to veto the bill, along with two others designed to interfere with the EPA’s work. One of those bills would ban what the GOP calls “secret science” by which it means science that hasn’t undergone testing beyond that required by accepted scientific practices. The other would put a rush on permit applications for permits by bypassing provisions of the Clean Air Act.
The trio, wrote Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, in an editorial for the Hill, represents “the culmination of one of the most anti-science and anti-health campaigns I’ve witnessed in my 22 years as a member of Congress.”