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NEWS & ANALYSIS

Federal Judge Tosses Trump ‘Secret Science’ Rule

A federal judge tossed the Trump administration rule limiting which scientific studies the Environmental Protection Agency can use to craft public health protections on Monday.  

“Based on the Court’s conclusion that the Final Rule is a substantive rule, the sole source of authority for the rule’s promulgation cannot support the rulemaking,” government lawyers argued in court. 

The ruling by Obama-appointed Judge Brian Morris, chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, Great Falls, hailed a major victory for environmental groups and public health advocates. 

“The Final Rule’s status becomes particularly clear when one examines what it is missing – any kind of procedure. EPA itself noted in its rulemaking that it would have to issue future guidance on how the rule operates procedurally,” Morris wrote. 

The aforementioned rule, finalized just two weeks before Biden’s inauguration, required researchers to disclose the raw data involved in their public health studies before the agency could rely on their conclusions. 

The rule would assign less weight to studies built on medical histories and other confidential data from human subjects where underlying information was not revealed, the Washington Post reports. 

Upon its finalization, Trump officials – including then-EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler – argued that the new rule would provide the public with more transparency into the scientific basis for new regulations: a way to combat “secret science.” 

What is better than transparency? 

An important note: the rule did not eliminate the use of all studies with private data, but rather gave preference to those with public data. 

To no surprise, the Biden administration is “pleased” with the ruling, said EPA spokeswoman Lindsay Hamilton, adding, “EPA is committed to making evidence-based decisions and developing policies and programs that are guided by the best science.” 

Rather than enhancing public trust in the government, Biden is further damaging it. 

Biden has made his activist agenda on climate and energy crystal clear. This is just another way for his administration to demonstrate that they are relying on science without being transparent about what the science actually is…just like team left governors and mayors are doing across the country in regards to the coronavirus. 

How are we expected to follow the science if we aren’t clear on what the science actually is? 

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