• 52°

Obama shows such high regard for truth

As time goes by we are learning that the administration that likes to tout itself as the “most transparent ever” has such high regard for the truth that they seldom, if ever, use it.

To the left-leaning liberal low-information crowd, the use of secret e-mail accounts, document-shredding obstructionism, and the end-runs around the Constitution may come as a surprise or are not a matter for concern.

Now the president and his administration, in collusion with the Environmental Protection Agency, are preparing to move forward with some of the most costly regulations in history. Regulations that will have a very negative effect on the American people, especially those living in the coal-producing regions of our country.

To add insult to injury, Obama and the EPA have refused to reveal the data they use to justify this multibillion dollar regulatory agenda. More than 99 percent of the health-based justifications they use are derived from scientific research that the EPA will not reveal; we are asked to believe that the policy changes are based on good science.

We do know that every major EPA air-quality regulation during Obama’s time in office has been justified using decades-old data.

Gina McCarthy, recently confirmed by the Senate as administrator of the EPA, committed to provide this data to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee in September of 2011. Now that she heads the agency she has no excuse not to make these taxpayer-funded studies public.

The reason this information needs to be made public is the cost of these regulatory changes will be paid by American families. We deserve to know what we are paying for. The science committee will force its release through a subpoena if the data was not provided by the end of July. It makes it very difficult to trust with all the stonewalling that has occurred.

The use of secret information to justify regulation changes does not bode well to me. Executive-branch rules require that federally funded research data be made publicly available when used for regulatory purposes.

We have no way of evaluating the science being used to justify the agency’s claims. The data in question has not been analyzed by independent scientists. The cost-benefit claims have not been reviewed.

Withholding information is troubling to say the least. In 2004 the National Academy of Sciences declared that the data being used is of “little use for decision-making.” Obama’s Office of Management and Budget acknowledged the EPA’s claims “may be misleading” and should be treated with caution.

The same data is being used to justify proposals to limit emissions for refineries and vehicles. The EPA plans to use the data to justify expensive new ozone standards. The ozone regulation changes could force large areas of the country into non-attainment, which would drastically limit economic growth.

The cost of these regulation changes would be borne by the taxpayers and would increase gasoline and electricity prices.

Obama’s secret science doesn’t stop there. A federal interagency working group’s findings regarding the “social cost of carbon” are being used on an ambitious and costly new climate agenda which was developed without public comment or peer review.

The U.S. had dramatic improvements in air and water pollution long before Obama came to Washington. The EPA needs to reveal the research it uses and let the American people decide if the costly new regulations are justified.

 

Joseph P. Smith is the owner of Pyro-Chem Corporation in South Point and has worked in the energy industry for more than three decades. He can be reached by email at joepsmith@zoominternet.net.