The Trump Administration Wants the HONEST Act to Prevent Science in Regulations

The Trump Administration Wants the HONEST Act to Prevent Science in Regulations

 

Climate Skeptics have burdened climate scientists by going to court to demand all data from climate scientists research, in order to slow them down and drive up their costs. The implication is that if the data and programs are made public knowledge, some skeptic could easily show where the climate scientists cheat in claiming that there is climate change. This has already happened in one case, where the critic charged that they had used ship temperature data, whereas they had actually used data that was more bouy weighted.

 

Of course, the lazy way is just to take something out of context, and quote it as the result, citing the authority of the study. Who would do this? Let’s start with our distorting President, Donald Trump. He took an MIT study of the temperature increase by 2100 with no greenhouse gas actions, with pledges before Paris, and with slightly greater pledges with the Paris agreement. The difference of the latter was 0.2 degrees C, but was quoted as the whole effect of the Paris agreement. The real effect of the Paris limitations compared to no action is 0.9 degrees C or 1.62 degrees F.

 

Now the House has passed the HONEST Act for the EPA (H.R. 1430). This requires that the only science studies that can be used in making regulations has to be fully documented, including data and programs. Since a lot of environmental studies involve medical results from pollution, supplied patient records have to have personal data removed, a costly and time consuming task. The bill only supplies one million dollars to accomplish this for all regulations, whereas hundreds of millions might be needed for this.

 
If you can write your Senator on this, we may discourage its passage there. An added fear is that this approach could spread to other federal agencies, and state or local government.
The acronym stands for the Honest and Open New EPA Science and Technology Act. This act has been publicized and attacked by an editorial in Science Magazine.

 

There is also another act the SAB (Science Advisory Board Reform Act, H.R. 1431), already passed by the House, which would rule out advisors who had been given EPA funding, and are the experts. They would be replaced by industry advisors. This would be a blatant way to take science out of important clean air and water and climate change governance. Amazingly, this still includes the Tobacco industry, an issue that we had thought was already concluded.

 

Since the Destroyer and Head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt was funded by Oklahoma oil oligarch Harold Hamm, we should have an equivalent Open requirement for Pruitt and his political appointees. They should be required to openly disclose every dollar that they have received from the fossil fuel industries.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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