News & Media

The Wrong Kind of Transparency

Higher ed associations and scientific societies in recent weeks have joined a chorus of opposition to a proposed Environmental Protection Agency rule that would limit the use of science for crafting regulations where all underlying data aren’t publicly available. The proposal fits into a decades-long debate over what data should be made public from research that informs government policy making. More recently, arguments for data transparency have been wielded by critics of environmental regulations, such as Representative Lamar Smith, the outgoing chair of the House science committee who has been a vocal opponent of new environmental regulations. The agency says the proposal, which was announced in April, would ensure it pursues its public health mission in a manner the public can trust and understand. But university and medical groups that back scientific research say the rule would prevent EPA from using the best research available. The proposal could have huge implications for issuing regulations under environmental laws like the Clean Air Act.

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