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Sunshine Week: EPA's Secret Science
March 12, 2013

EPA's Human Studies Brochure shows human test subjects inhaling diesel exhaust:
The first day President Obama took office in 2009 the White House website declared his Administration would become "the most open and transparent in history." Obama issued high-profile orders pledging "a new era" and "an unprecedented level of openness" across the massive federal government.

During "Sunshine Week," March 10 - 16, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Republicans are working to remind the Administration of their transparency pledge to the American people.

Clean Air Act (CAA)

The Clean Air Act (CAA) provides EPA the legal authority to craft rules and regulations, to address air pollution, which are to be based on sound science.

However, during the Obama Administration, the EPA has consistently ignored Congressional requests, avoided transparency, and relied on flawed science when proposing and finalizing some of the costliest regulations ever issued by the federal government.

EPA puts forward rules with significant price tags, arguing that the benefits to public health and welfare far outweigh the costs. However, EPA refuses to publicly release the basic scientific data underlying virtually all of the Agency's claimed benefits from new CAA rules. The Agency's dependence on "secret data" contradicts the promises by the President to lead the most transparent Administration in history.

EPA Lacks Accountability for CAA

Ignore Requests: EPA continues to evade Congressional requests aimed at transparency. EPA failed to deliver documents pursuant to FOIA involving its role in Dr. Al Armendariz's August 2011 letter to U.S. Representatives about permit uncertainties for the proposed Las Brisas Energy Center in Corpus Christi, TX.

Undermine Transparency: After Congress did not receive a response from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs regarding the delayed 2012 Unified Agendas, Senator Vitter sought answers directly from EPA. More than six weeks later, EPA has yet to respond to the simple questions of when the Agency submitted its Spring 2012 and Fall 2012 regulatory agendas to OIRA and in the case of a delay, why they were delayed.

Secret Science: In June 2011 Senator Vitter asked for the scientific methods used to justify EPA's regulatory agenda and to evaluate the science underlying the establishment of and revisions to National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). 20 months later, the inquiry still outstanding, the Agency has still not confirmed that their rule-making does not suffer from scientific defects and instead is based on high-quality, unbiased scientific results.

Disregard Comprehensive Economic Analysis: A February 2013 study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reveals the Agency's disregard for economy-wide impacts, as well as any negative impacts, rendering their cost-benefit analyses to be misleading and based on manipulated data in order to justify some of the costliest regulations.

Contact: Luke Bolar (202) 224-4623

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Majority Office
410 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.Washington, DC 20510-6175
phone: 202-224-8832
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456 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.Washington, DC 20510-6175
phone: 202-224-6176