Indiana University SPEA dean to testify on 'secret science' legislation

  • Feb. 10, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- John D. Graham, dean of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, will testify Tuesday in support of a bill that prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency from using what backers of the legislation call "secret science."

The bill, introduced by U.S. House Republicans, would prohibit the EPA from proposing new regulations based on science that is not transparent or reproducible. The Environment Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology invited Graham to testify because of his expertise gained inside and outside government. He is dean of SPEA and formerly served as a senior official in President George W. Bush’s Office of Management and Budget.

In testimony prepared for the hearing at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Graham outlines the proposal and his conclusions:

"In summary, EPA is not permitted to issue regulations (or other 'covered actions') unless (A) all scientific and technical information relied upon is specifically identified; (B) such information is publicly available in a manner that is sufficient for independent analysis and substantial reproduction of research results.

“I fully support point A, as it is an elementary principle of transparency. A third party (or even another federal agency or OMB) cannot possibly evaluate the merits of a covered action if they do not know what specific scientific and technical information was relied upon by EPA.

"I also support point B, which I believe is the heart of the legislation, as it requires both public access to the scientific and technical information, and access in a form that facilitates independent analysis and reproduction of research results."

Graham will testify that the legislation would not be an undue burden on government agencies: "What I envision is simply a link on EPA’s website -- one for each covered action -- that contains one or more files of original scientific and technical information (including original data and analytic models and guidance about how to access and utilize the files) that are sufficiently detailed that a third party could process the information and thereby substantially reproduce the results that the agency is relying upon."

The measure is sponsored by Subcommittee Chairman David Schweikert, R-Ariz. In a statement released by the panel, Schweikert said: "The Secret Science Reform Act ends costly EPA rulemaking from happening behind closed doors and out of public view. Public policy should come from public data, not based on the whims of far-left environmental groups."

About the Indiana University Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs

SPEA was founded in 1972 and is a world leader in public and environmental affairs and is the largest school of public administration and public policy in the United States. In the 2012 "Best Graduate Schools" by U.S. News & World Report, SPEA ranks second and is the nation's highest-ranked professional graduate program in public affairs at a public institution. Four of its specialty programs are ranked in the top-five listings. SPEA's doctoral programs in public affairs and public policy are also ranked by the National Academy of Science as among the nation’s best.

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