A big shoutout to ACSH advisor (and junk science debunker extraordinaire) Dr. Geoffrey Kabat for his recent Forbes op-ed entitled What Is Really At Stake In The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Subpoena Of EPA Data.
This time, Dr. Kabat, a Senior Epidemiologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a member of ACSH s scientific advisory panel, takes on the science of air pollution regulation. In reality, the science is really based on politics something that he regularly writes about.
In particular, Dr. Kabat asks whether the EPA s regulation of air pollution under the Clean Air Act first passed in 1963, and amended multiple times is based on science.
He says, For the first time in 21 years the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology issued a subpoena requiring the EPA to hand over the data from two scientific studies, which provide the basis for most of the regulations.
Why is this necessary? It would seem that the reason is purely bureaucratic and political.
Kabat continues, According to the committee s chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R TX), the subpoena comes after nearly two years of requests for EPA to make the data available. He argues that the scientific evidence used to justify new regulations that will cost billions of dollars should be accessible to independent researchers and other groups, rather than hinging on the analysis and interpretation of a small group of academic researchers.
ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom comments, Fighting the pollution of science by special-interest groups and politics is one of the guiding principles upon which ACSH was founded. Dr. Kabat s op-ed is a fine example of what we deal with all the time. I encourage you to read it, although any idealists out there who still believe that sound science is reliably transformed into sound policy better have a strong stomach.