Stop This Assault on Science: The Regulatory Accountability Act

Congress is quietly trying to make it impossible to use science to make good policies that protect Americans.
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Photo: USCapitol/Flickr

Over the past six months, there have been endless attempts to suppress or sideline the crucial role of science in our democracy and our decision-making. One of the most dangerous efforts so far is the "Regulatory Accountability Act" (RAA)—a deceptively named bill that would make it impossible to use public science to make good policy that protects Americans.

If you're a fan of clean air, drinkable water, safe home goods, or food and medicine that don't hurt you, then you should pay attention to this bill.

It introduces new bureaucratic procedures, indefinite delays, and even more opportunities for powerful industry lobbyists to disrupt public protections and make us less safe from harm. It forces agencies to ignore what we scientifically know is needed to keep us safe and requires agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency to pick policies that are less expensive to industries, regardless of the costs and potential harms inflicted upon the public.

If this bill sounds wonky and obscure, that's the point: the hope is that this attack on science flies under the radar. But you can help expose this deceptive and dangerous tactic and bring it to public light. You can send a message that you care about this issue, you are paying attention, and you will hold Congress accountable on how they vote.

Two things you can do

We need to make sure this bill does not gain traction in Congress! Here are two things you can do to stop this harmful bill, right now. See below for more information on the bill, including some sample talking points to help get you started. 

  • Help put a spotlight on what's really at stake:  Write a letter to the editor in your local paper about the dangers of the Regulatory Accountability Act. Highlight the real-world effects on your state's health, safety, and environment if we strip science away from upholding public protections. Learn more about how to write an effective letter.  
  • Call your senators. Ask them to oppose these attacks on science-based safeguards and any efforts to move forward the Regulatory Accountability Act or any of its components. Learn more about how to have a successful call.

Background and talking points  

Sample talking points for your call or letter to the editor:

  • Americans didn’t vote to virtually eliminate laws like the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act—but that’s just what a proposed bill in the Senate would do.
  • The “Regulatory Accountability Act” is deceptive starting with its name. What this bill would really do is make it impossible to use science to make good policy that protects Americans.
  • The RAA introduces new bureaucratic procedures, indefinite delays, and even more opportunities for corporate lobbyists to disrupt public safeguards and make us less safe from harm. In fact, this bill would require agencies to pick the less costly policy for corporations, regardless of the cost to the public.
  • This is a favor to powerful industry lobbyists who want to avoid accountability for their actions—and it’s a real danger for the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the products we buy. For example, [use a local safety concern that would resonate with your community.]
  • Senator X must do everything they can to stop the RAA from undermining our ability to use science to best protect our health, our safety, and the environment.
Last revised date: July 25, 2017