The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt proposed on Tuesday a new rule to disqualify the way science is used to write prescriptions in the authority to vast amounts of peer-reviewed public health research disqualify and give preference to industry-funded studies.
The new rule, widely condemned by scientists and environmental groups as "an attack on science," comes nearly two weeks after the White House quietly revised the rules of clean air on the orders of the executive. Pruitt made the announcement at 2 pm. Live stream from the EPA, flanked by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), who introduced both bills but did not pass on which the proposed regulation was based. Pruitt did not ask questions and the EPA did not invite reporters from key news agencies.
"Today is a red day," said Pruitt, who dismisses the EPO's reliance on traditional peer-reviewed studies as "false." He added, "It's a banner day."
The rule first reported by the Washington Post and confirmed by HuffPost Tuesday morning would provide a change long sought after by Conservatives who say that "secret science" paralyzes the industry unfairly. But critics of the new EPO proposal say that it prevents the agency from using traditional, peer-reviewed studies based on anonymity granted to subjects to collect data on their personal health.
"This is what our leading public health agency says It is illegal to use many or most public health studies," said Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Union of Concerned Scientists Center for Science and Democracy. "It's a perfect catch 22."
The proposal aims to write through the EPA, which has been a favorite subject for Smith, the controversial head of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, for years. Smith has pushed ahead with two bills designed to force the EPA to rely solely on research whose raw data could be publicly published. A bow to large industrial companies, especially petrochemical companies, who complain about higher levels of asthma and respiratory disease. Particles spitting from their plants. The bills went in the controlled by the Republicans house, but failed in the Senate.
"In general, we support the general concepts in the Lamar Smith Act, which is the foundation of what Pruitt is doing," said Myron Ebell, director of the Libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute and former head of the EPO Transition Team of Trump
"God forbid that does not mean regulation by then – we're back in the Dark Ages," said Tom Burke, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and former EPA science consultant until January 2017. "Let's turn the clock back And is it starting anew? And is it an open season for the industry that has brought us such widespread contamination? "
" I hope cooler heads will prevail in the commentary period "
The new EPA move builds on one Strategy on tobacco industry to sow doubts as increasing research linked smoking to cancer. The playbook dates back to 1996, when Christopher Horner, a former employee of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, wrote a memo outlining plans to combat the "cancer-causing tobacco smoke" identified by the EPO as "explicit procedural hurdles". Follow in the issue of scientific reports.
Concern about the fossil fuel industry goes back about the same time: In 1993, the industry resisted a groundbreaking study by Harvard University associating polluted air with premature deaths after persecuting thousands of people for almost two decades. The New York Times described the study, known as the "Six Cities" study, as "one of the most influential public health examinations ever conducted" and "the backbone of federal air pollution legislation"
Steve Milloy, a former tobacco lobbyist who has recreated himself over the past decade as a staunch climate change denier and online troll for scientists and reporters, has long pushed for a "transparency" rule and the "secret science of the EPA" in a Fox lamented news has appeared already in February 2001. On Tuesday morning he accepted the proposal the EPO.
We are back in the dark age.
Tom Burke, Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
"I consider it one of my proudest achievements," said Milloy E & E News . "The reason is Steve Milloy."
The proposal builds on movements that Pruitt has already made to engage scientists whose peer review procedures are putting Republicans in question. In October, it banned scientists receiving EPA grants from participating in the agency's advisory councils, overcame oversight bodies' control over industry-friendly researchers. This change, made by the executive, similarly reflected a bill that Smith proposed: Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017. Legislation, such as Emily Atkin the New Republic in an article pointed out The month in which the Republicans won the "war on science" is based on the assumption that environmental scientists who have received money from the EPO for research, like many of them, favor of regulation. "
Liberal media and alarmist environmental groups continue to argue against this common sense, "Smith said Tuesday before presenting Pruitt at the event.
But the rule proposed on Tuesday should make exceptions to industry-funded research Published in response to a request for public documents, Nancy Beck, Deputy Administrator of the EPA's Office for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, warned that new "transparency" proposals threaten trade secrets (EPO published the documents) before and then removed them from their website, but the Union of Concerned Scientists re-published them online.)
"It's a competition issue," wrote Beck, a former chemical industry lobbyist Email . "These data are extremely valuable, extremely high quality and not T be published. The directive needs to be revised.
The new EPA proposal comes as Pruitt comes under increasing pressure to withdraw after a months-long storm of ethical scandals and federal investigations over his spending and administration. After weeks of strong support for him Signaling the administrator, according to a Bloomberg report, the White House began telling Republicans not to engage in the defense of Pruit.
Smith, who does not seek re-election to another term this year, defied the directive and repeatedly praised Pruitt.
"I do not know any other government official who goes on the offensive, who is not intimidated and who does what he thinks right, no matter what," Smith said Work done by the administrator. "
But on Monday, three of Pruit's closest allies, including Senator James Inhofe (R-Ok la.), that they [unterstützt]  hearings in the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate to investigate the approach of Pruitt. At least one former EPA official suggested that the rule announced on Tuesday pretend that Prutt was weakening the agency.
"They are trying to distract attention from the ethical issues and tax scandals that are going on," said Liz Purch., Who served as communications director of the EPA until January 2017. "At the moment it will be a proposed rule and it is unclear whether it will ever come into force."
This story has been updated to reflect the official rule announcement.