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Top Democrats Push Pruitt for 90-day Comment Period on New EPA “Selective Science” Policy

Science Committee Ranking Member Johnson and Energy & Commerce Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Tonko lead group of 65 members calling on EPA Administrator to extend comment period on recent proposed science rule

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Washington, May 3, 2018 | comments
“Regardless of viewpoint, there is agreement that the proposed rule would be a significant change in how the agency considers science in policymaking. Organizations, scientists, industries, and members of the public deserve additional time to understand how this policy shift may impact them.”
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WASHINGTON – The top Democrat on the House Science, Space & Technology Committee, Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and on the Energy & Commerce Environment Subcommittee, Paul D. Tonko (D-NY) were joined by 63 Democratic colleagues today to send a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt calling for a 90-day comment period on a recently proposed rule on the treatment of data in science-based policymaking.

“Given the large response from scientists and stakeholders before the rule was officially proposed, a comment period of 30 days will not allow for meaningful engagement from stakeholders,” the letter states. “Regardless of viewpoint, there is agreement that the proposed rule would be a significant change in how the agency considers science in policymaking. Organizations, scientists, industries, and members of the public deserve additional time to understand how this policy shift may impact them.”

Administrator Pruitt announced the proposed rule at an event closed to the press late last month. The proposed rule would impose severe restrictions on the use of certain public health data and related research findings, a radical departure from existing and widely-accepted scientific standards. It would also give the Administrator broad discretion to exempt certain studies from the proposal’s requirements on a case-by-case basis.

Ranking Member Tonko raised serious concerns about the impartiality of this proposed rule while questioning Administrator Pruitt when he testified before the Energy & Commerce Environment Subcommittee last week.

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