Transparent Science at the EPA 📐

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No more cherry-picking data

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt, has just announced that he will be implementing a new initiative to foster greater transparency and accuracy in the research done by EPA scientists. The EPA has been accused in the past of “cherry picking” data in order to justify expanding their funding and influence.

What's in the new initiative? 

  • There will be a ‘red team/blue team’ program, which is a controversial way to evaluate scientific findings. A team of outside experts (the red team) will evaluate the EPA scientists’ (the blue team) research, and then there is open dialogue between the groups regarding the veracity of results. 
  • All data will be collected from studies that are publically available, instead of in confidential records, ensuring that information can be checked by the public and outside scientists. Nonpublic scientific data can’t be used anymore.

Leaning Right:

National Review: Scott Pruitt Isn’t Anti-Science

Breitbart: Scott Pruitt Is #Winning, Bans Junk Science from Environmental Protection Agency

The right says Pruitt is not anti-science and that he is actually allowing the EPA to focus on ‘transparency, shared research, and peer review.’ According to the right, the Democrats are the ones waging a ‘war on science’, and are against Pruitt’s initiative because of greed. If the EPA is more transparent and unbiased about reporting true science, they will lose funding for programs that are based on ‘junk science’. This means that Dems would lose money that currently funds their ‘green political agenda.’

 

Leaning Left:

The Hill: Ex-EPA heads: Pruitt is crippling agency with 'secret science' rule

NY Times: At Pruitt's E.P.A.: No Studies, No Data, No Rules

The left says that Pruitt is anti-science, and wants to take the EPA back to the ‘dark ages.’ They are concerned about the potential 30% cut in funding and stress their belief that sickness and death from environmental pollution will increase without funding for Obama’s Clean Power Plan. They also claim that by preventing the use of confidential scientific records, the EPA will lose access to the “best available science”, undermining their scientific credibility. The left says Pruitt is attempting to ‘cripple’ researchers by limiting the data available in an effort to push Trump’s scientific agenda. 


The EPA isn't squeaky clean

Scott Pruitt has a point that the EPA has a history of using incomplete facts and biased scientific findings to justify expensive programs. In 1972, the EPA claimed that DDT plant pesticide was causing a cancer epidemic. When further research suggested DDT may not be a carcinogen, the EPA banned DDT anyway. The EPA has also issued false statements about BPA (a chemical in plastic) and the effects of secondhand smoking. Although the left has a point that researchers need access to the latest information in order to create accurate reports, this new ‘transparency’ initiative may be the best way to prevent bias in the EPA. 

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