Republicans Seek Answers on 'Faulty Science' Decisions

Thursday, 20 Oct 2011 05:47 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Three Republican lawmakers demanded answers from the White House Wednesday about what they charged were “faulty science” methods and outright misconduct used to justify several major federal policy actions.
In a letter to John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Sens. James Inhofe of Oklahoma and David Vitter of Louisiana, and Rep. Darrell Issa of California, cited a number of documented inquiries into the methods used by the administration to make environmental and other decisions.
“We’ve seen facts manipulated and science ignored across the administration while they’ve developed policies with huge negative effects on the economy,” they said in a joint statement with Inhofe and Issa.
In their letter, the lawmakers pointed to various actions at the Interior and Energy departments, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Environmental Protection Agency that they insisted were not based on accepted standards or legitimate scientific data.
They also noted several investigations by the General Accountability Office and various inspector generals raising questions about the possibility of political influence being used in some decisions, including the closure of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository program in Nevada.
“The public must be able to trust the science and scientific process informing public policy decision,” Inhofe said.
Added Issa, who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: “By shining the light of transparency on processes that have failed, we can ensure that government agencies will refocus efforts on maintaining the highest standards of scientific testing and analysis.”
The three asked Holden to provide various documents to the House oversight panel and to respond to a series of questions by the close of business on Nov. 2.

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