Letter of Support: “Honest and Open EPA New Science Treatment Act of 2017” (HONEST Act)
By SBE Council at 7 March, 2017, 8:32 pm
UPDATE: On March 29, the House passed the HONEST Act.
The Honorable Lamar Smith
Science, Space and Technology Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Smith:
On behalf of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) and its 100,000 members, I am writing to express our strong support for the “Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act of 2017” (HONEST ACT). The explosive growth in regulations, and specifically generated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), require a more transparent and methodical approach to evaluating the science and data used as the basis for the agency’s regulatory proposals.
The HONEST Act states that the EPA shall not propose, finalize, or disseminate any regulatory action unless all supporting scientific and technical information used as the basis for action is the best science available and specifically identified. Furthermore, the EPA shall only use science and data that is publicly available online in a way that is sufficient for independent analysis and substantial reproduction of research results. The legislation contains important privacy and intellectual property protections, affirming existing laws regarding the disclosure of confidential and proprietary information.
Small business owners and all Americans must be confident that EPA regulations are rooted in legitimate science, and can be vetted through a transparent and open process. There has been considerable controversy, for example, over the science used to advance costly rulemakings such as the speculative cost estimate of the “social cost of carbon” and the new ozone standards. The HONEST Act, which is consistent with the principles outlined in President Obama’s Executive Order 13563, will strengthen confidence in the regulatory process, which many Americans – and certainly small business owners – feel is secretive and works to the benefit of special interests.
The EPA needs to be smarter, more transparent and prudent in terms of how it regulates. The stinging impact of EPA’s regulatory costs on small businesses and the economy demands such transparency. The HONEST Act is a reasonable and simple reform measure that promotes scientific integrity and openness. All members of Congress should support these principles.
Thank you again for your leadership Chairman Smith, and for your ongoing support of America’s small business and entrepreneurial sector. Please let SBE Council know how we can help advance the HONEST Act into law.
Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO