The Hill

Science Gets Limited Space To Regulate Under Trump's New EPA

It’s no secret that these days, science is under attack, and all this is happening despite the fact that all efforts toward it is made for the betterment of our lives here on Earth.

Unfortunately, all this grew from the current administration under U.S. President Donald Trump, an administration that, for various reasons, doesn’t respect science all that much. This can be seen in the government brushing off the harmful effects of burning fossil fuels as well as its indifference on the effects of toxic emissions given off by power plants.

And now, the Trump administration plans to take this indifference one step further by reducing science influence on crafting regulatory policies meant to keep everyone and everything under check. Called “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science,” the new rule is proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, which requires scientists to reveal all of the raw data that they used in various studies.

Surface level-wise, the rule sounds reasonable since the administration argues that making data available to the public would help other scientists build upon previous studies.

This couldn’t be more further from the truth since doing so would actually disrupt long-term practices, especially those that are based on health and environmental studies, because in this area, individual medical records are often anonymized to respect their privacy. Not only that, but taking away anonymity from the equation would also be making it difficult for people to join studies that are aimed at studying health effects due to different activities. After all, who would want their privacy to be tarnished?

Ultimately, however, this means no transparency and less scientific influence on policymaking and federal regulations, a move that’s being pushed by pro-industry conservatives for the longest time, as part of their agenda. As such, it’s not surprising that Trump would back this up as well.

Per numerous critics, the government is currently making a weak case as to why the rule is needed, and what good it will do for both the government and the scientific community.

Donald Trump Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. Gage Skidmore/flickr

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