Thu
Apr 26 2018
12:15 pm

When asked about weakening toxic coal ash regulations, Scott Pruitt just testified in a Congressional hearing that he was not aware of the health effects suffered by workers cleaning up the coal ash spill at Kingston and another site in North Carolina.

Somebody's picture

If he gets his way, neither

If he gets his way, neither Pruitt nor anyone else at the EPA will be aware of the health effects suffered by coal plant workers or anyone else. He is proposing to restrict the EPA from creating regulations that rely on science that is based on any sort of non-publicly available data. While pretending that it is about “transparency,” it is apparently a way to exclude research on the effects of, well, anything, on human health.

That’s because HIPAA restricts access to personal health information, and rightly so. Scientists who research anything involving that data must follow protocols to protect patient confidentiality. Other scientists who want to check the validity of such research can also follow those protocols and use that sort of data, but they can’t just post it all on the web in the interest of “transparency.”

So the intent of this supposed scientific “transparency” is really to block the EPA from creating regulations using science based on confidential health data. Without the health data, it’s pretty hard to determine if a given pollutant makes people sick or not. If they can’t make the determination, they can’t regulate it. If they don’t regulate it, that leaves industry free to dump pollutants into the environment, while claiming that they “are not aware of the health effects” of any of it.

It’s the same ploy used by the NRA to block the CDC from researching gun violence as a public health issue. If you can’t use the data, you can’t create public policy in response to it. It works like a charm for industries that wish to avoid accountability, but it’s not much help to anyone else.

(link...)

R. Neal's picture

It’s the same ploy used by

It’s the same ploy used by the NRA to block the CDC from researching gun violence as a public health issue. If you can’t use the data, you can’t create public policy in response to it.

Great analogy.

jbr's picture

Lawmakers grilling EPA chief Scott Pruit

So far at least four House Republicans have called for Pruitt to resign, though none of them sit on either committee that will question Pruitt on Thursday. Still, anticipating questions from Democrats, Cole said one could "expect a pretty highly charged hearing."

One top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Kathy Castor, cosponsored a resolution calling for Pruitt's resignation that was signed by 170 Democratic members and senators. And several of the committee's Democrats held a news conference right before Thursday morning's hearing to highlight their concerns.

Lawmakers grilling EPA chief Scott Pruitt: 'You are unfit to hold public office'

Moon's picture

"Pruitt unqualified..."

I think we should at least wait until the season starts before calling on Fulmer to fire him.

R. Neal's picture

I just hope he can fix the

Lol. I just hope he can fix the offensive line.

jbr's picture

Mom confronts EPA's Pruitt at eatery, telling him to resign

“If they’re doing their jobs well, they should want to hear from the public,” says Kristin Mink of her interaction with President Donald Trump's Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Mom confronts EPA's Pruitt at eatery, telling him to resign

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