Letter to the editor: Tipton, be more cautious in the future

Our representative Scott Tipton just voted “yea” on H.R. 1430, The Honest and Open Science Treatment Act, or so-called Honest Act. It initially appears to be “honest,” requiring the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) rules, regulations, standards, analysis, evidence, and more to be based on the best “available science,” “specifically identified,” and “publicly available.” But why would an administration bent on eliminating the EPA propose an “honest” bill? What is it really proposing?

The bill is devilishly deceiving. It holds the EPA to a new standard, clearly expressed in the bill’s statement of purpose, “to prohibit the EPA from proposing, finalizing, or disseminating regulations or assessments based on science that is not transparent or reproducible.” This is the crux of the bill. It sets a new standard that is undefined and totally impracticable.

Can EPA actions designed to protect our environment, health, and safety be based on “reproducible science?” Science is based on empirical data, collected over a period of time, that leads to a “reasonable conclusion” and a projection about a most-likely scenario. There are always a number of variables that can’t be controlled. After all, climate change is proceeding at a much more accelerated rate than predicted.

This bill would seem to prevent the EPA from exercising any prophylactic “covered action” on behalf of the environment, our health and safety, and the world’s resiliency. Data and studies that the EPA has been collecting and pursuing for years could be discarded as “useless” because the objectives (such as climate change) may not be reproducible. The EPA would be forced simply to react to what has already occurred and even under these standards, the EPA’s authority could be undermined.  The bill limits the EPA to one million dollars per action. The burden of proof is on the EPA, and anyone who disagrees could possibly assert an “uncontrolled variable,” without evidence, to undermine the action.

You might think that I am exaggerating but I’m not. The Environmental Defense Fund (“EDF”) recently posited that Trump’s most dangerous political interference may be the effort to meddle permanently with EPA’s scientific capacity. That’s what this bill is all about. According to the EDF, the goal of Myron Ebell, head of Trump’s EPA transition team, was to cripple permanently the EPA’s capacity to bounce back under future presidents.

Tipton was duped by H.R. 1430 and voted yes. Don’t let Senator Gardner fall into the trap!! Contact Sen. Gardner and insist that he vote “no” to H.R. 1430!!!

A. M. Miller



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