The Environmental Protection Agency for years has issued costly clean air rules based, in part, on two ’90s-era studies linking air pollution with death.
But, critics say, the same agency has stymied efforts to access the data behind them.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy thinks that suppression is entirely jake [emphasis added in the summary of her position].
For its part, the EPA has argued that releasing the data could compromise confidential personal information, and that it didn’t have access to all the research anyway, among other issues. The agency made an effort to contact the original institutions behind the studies in 2013, but Republicans say they again would not hand over everything.
There’s so much wrong with that, so much that’s wholly dishonest. For starters, what rule-making data has personal information among them? The data clearly were aggregated and stripped of personal information, since they were gathered by responsible researchers. The data clearly were aggregated and stripped of personal information, also, because such information is completely irrelevant to the studies for which they were collected and would only have cluttered the data.
Then, on what basis is EPA making rules when they don’t have all the underlying data? Is this another case of We Know Best, we don’t need no stinkin’ data?
To add insult to her disingenuosity, McCarthy added this to her testimony in front of the House Science Committee:
The EPA totally supports both transparency as well as a strong peer-reviewed independent science process, but the bill I’m afraid I don’t think will get us there. I don’t actually need the raw data in order to develop science, that’s not how it’s done. … I do not know of what value raw data is to the general public.
Wow. “I don’t actually need raw data….” We don’t need no stinkin’ data. And the transparency bit that McCarthy so fatuously claimed: she’ll be transparent, but only with her chosen few.
She doesn’t know the value of the data to the general public? Here’s all she needs to know about the value of raw data to the general public: her boss—that general public—wants it.