Hello! My name is _______, and I am a constituent of Representative _________’s in ____________, California. I'm calling to ask that he/she oppose H.R. 1430, the wrongly named “Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act of 2017.” This bill is an attack on the legitimate science the EPA needs to protect us all. It subjects the EPA's scientific research to political pressure; it excludes studies that protect private medical data or trade secrets; and it creates a purposefully burdensome process intended to limit the use of legitimate research. This bill would have prevented existing EPA rules protecting first responders from chemical explosions, safeguarding children from lead paint ingestion, enabling oil spill cleanups, and protecting drinking water from radioactive contaminants. I would like Representative ______________ to vote against H.R. 1430, this blatant attempt to subject science to politics and weaken the EPA’s ability to protect me. Thank you!
The House of Representatives is due to vote Wednesday on the "Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act," whose clever (if deceptive) acronym is the "HONEST Act." It would significantly hinder the Environmental Protection Agency's use of scientific research to create rules that protect our health. The bill would require the EPA to base new regulations only on scientific studies for which all data is publicly available, and whose results can be easily reproduced. While such restrictions don't seem unreasonable to a layman's eyes, they deviate profoundly from common scientific practice, and are designed to cripple scientific research at the EPA by allowing anti-science politicians and their industry allies to block credible, peer-reviewed studies.
The EPA's work frequently relies on results that are not easily "reproducible" -- a study on the BP oil spill’s impact on public health in coastal Gulf communities, for example, or a decade-long study of exposure to toxic substances among pregnant women and their children. Scientists also note that the act's requirement that research data be publicly accessible might deter public health studies that use patients' private medical data, while studies of problems like the emissions from oil wells might prove impossible because they rely on trade secrets and industry data. Though it pretends to spring from good intentions, the HONEST Act would add significant expense and delay to the scientific process, emboldening polluters and discouraging good scientists from working in government.