Wednesday, April 25, 2018 by JD Heyes
One of President Donald J. Trump’s original Cabinet picks is proving to be just the warrior the country needs in the battle against expensive, strangling, opportunity-killing Big Government: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.
As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt sued the Obama EPA several times over the agency’s imposition of radical and expensive environmental rules that were based on questionable findings and unproven scientific conclusions.
So it’s no surprise that now, as head of an agency with which he often fought, he’s just the man to ensure that moving forward, the EPA’s rules, when it issues any, will be based on documented, replicable, proven science.
Which ought to shock you, really, to discover that EPA under previous administrations was making decisions based on something less than sound science.
As reported by The Daily Caller:
The [EPA’s] plan to end the use of “secret science” to craft regulations will take the form of proposed regulation, making it harder for officials to skirt around or future administrations to repeal, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.
Administrator Scott Pruitt first announced his ban on “secret science” in a March interview with TheDCNF. Pruitt will unveil the new policy on Tuesday in the form of a proposed rule, which, if finalized, will make it harder for future administrations to repeal.
“We need to make sure their data and methodology are published as part of the record,” Pruitt told TheDCNF in March. “Otherwise, it’s not transparent. It’s not objectively measured, and that’s important.”
Pruitt introduced the rule Tuesday. Now, as is required for all federal rule proposals, it must go through a comment period before it is considered for adoption.
For years Republicans have been pushing for transparency in the EPA’s regulatory science, especially after the Obama EPA’s reliance on non-public data to justify spending billions in health benefits based on the reduction of certain pollutants.
Pruitt’s proposed rule will be applied to prospective new scientific regulatory rules in the future. But agency officials could tie the data transparency rule with an executive order issued by Trump in 2017. That order calls for the elimination of two regulations for every new one approved.
“It is the policy of the executive branch to be prudent and financially responsible in the expenditure of funds, from both private and public sources,” the order states in Section 1. “In addition to the management of the direct expenditure of taxpayer dollars through the budgeting process, it is essential to manage the costs associated with the government imposition of private expenditures required to comply with Federal regulations.”
The order also instructed his administration to create task forces whose aim would be to identify regulations that should be repealed or reformed. The new rules Pruitt is considering “would nicely dovetail with a finalized EPA data transparency rule,” The Daily Caller reported.
When the rule is finalized, regulations that are considered in the future must conform to the transparency standard, meaning agency officials will be required to examine closely studies and regulatory analyses that underlie existing rules, and especially those enacted during the Obama administration.
Pruitt will be proposing something similar to legislation sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, which passed in March 2017 called the HONEST Act. It requires EPA to only use publicly-available data during its rule-making process.
You can tell that Pruitt’s efforts are effective because of all the opposition against him. Former Obama EPA administrators are criticizing him in The New York Times (of course), while others are stirring up fake charges against him within the agency.
But supporters hope he survives the onslaught because on Trump’s orders Pruitt is on pace to dramatically reform an out-of-control bureaucracy that pushes the human-caused global warming/climate change hoax and creates budgetary nightmares for entire industries.
Keep track of how the Trump administration is reforming the Environmental Protection Agency at EPAWatch.org.
J.D. Heyes is also editor-in-chief of The National Sentinel.