A New McCarthy Era

[Gina “Joe”] McCarthy told an audience at the National Academy of Sciences on Monday morning the agency will go after a “small but vocal group of critics” who are arguing the EPA is using “secret science” to push costly clean air regulations.

Because we can’t have all this dissent. It gets in the way of our Agenda. It’s unseemly. McCarthy claimed,

Those critics conjure up claims of EPA secret science—but it’s not really about EPA science or secrets. It’s about challenging the credibility of world renowned scientists and institutions like Harvard University and the American Cancer Society.

No, Madam, it’s about challenging their conclusions and methodology—which is what science, real science, honest science, does.


It’s about claiming that research is secret if researchers protect confidential personal health data from those who are not qualified to analyze it—and won’t agree to protect it. If EPA is being accused of secret science because we rely on real scientists to conduct research, and independent scientists to peer review it, and scientists who’ve spent a lifetime studying the science to reproduce it—then so be it.

This is patently false—no one has asked for the confidential personal data, which are metadata, anyway, and not the raw data. No, Madam, only those raw data, data the scientists used to reach their conclusion are being sought.

And that peer review bit? On what basis do you ignore the peer reviews that dispute the conclusions of your chosen scientists? On what basis do you ignore the efforts of these…scientists…to suppress dissenting papers?

Relatedly, even, arguendo, were confidential personal data called for, the Federal government has procedures in place for safeguarding them, even while briefing members of Congress in detail about them. The security agencies, the NSA, CIA, etc are well experienced, with sound procedures in place, in doing this. McCarthy knows this; her demurral here is just another cynical red herring.

And there’s this:

McCarthy promised she would make such data publicly available during her confirmation process last year. Now her refusal to cough up the data has angered Republicans.

This is another McCarthy era tactic—just make stuff up, then refuse to follow through when it becomes inconvenient to do so.


Those critics are playing a dangerous game by discrediting the sound science our families and our businesses depend on every day,” McCarthy said. “You can’t just claim the science isn’t real when it doesn’t align well with your political or financial interests.”

Nor can you claim it is real just because it aligns well with your political or financial interests, Madam.

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