U.S. EPA chief Scott Pruitt. Photo: Pete Marovich / Getty Images

By Scott Waldman and Robin Bravender
16 March 2018

(E&E News) – U.S. EPA chief Scott Pruitt is expected to roll out plans soon to restrict the agency’s use of science in rulemakings, pitting him against critics who say it would threaten public health and environmental protections.

In a closed-door meeting at the Heritage Foundation on Monday, Pruitt told a group of conservatives that he has plans for additional science reform at the agency, according to multiple attendees. EPA hasn’t formally shared details of the plan, but it’s widely expected to resemble an effort that Republican lawmakers and conservative groups have been pushing for years. It’s been met with staunch resistance from Democrats and many scientists.

The plan could come “sooner rather than later, ” said Steve Milloy, who served on Trump’s EPA transition team and attended the meeting at the Heritage Foundation.

EPA did not respond to a request for comment. And Milloy cautioned that he did not know the specifics of the plan and said he was not authorized to discuss the meeting.

The initiative is expected to require EPA—when issuing rules—to rely only on scientific studies where the underlying data are made public. It’s an idea that House Science, Space and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) has been championing for years. He and others argue that EPA has been crafting regulations based on “secret science ” to advance its regulatory agenda.

Smith, one of the leading opponents of mainstream climate science in Congress, has repeatedly accused federal climate scientists of engaging in a massive conspiracy to falsify climate data. And he has repeatedly introduced bills that would require EPA to publicize data it uses when crafting regulations. [more]

Pruitt Expected to Limit Science Used to Make EPA Pollution Rules

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