House Bill Would Undermine Public Health and Environmental Protections

Statement by Andrew Rosenberg, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Jan 12, 2015

WASHINGTON (January 12, 2015)—The “Regulatory Accountability Act” (H.R. 185) would jeopardize scores of laws, passed with bipartisan support, that protect public health and the environment, warn experts at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), is expected to go to the House floor for a vote on Jan. 13.

Below is a statement by Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS.

“It’s outrageous that the new Congress is starting its session by attacking science-based policymaking. And Representative Robert Goodlatte, the sponsor of the bill, has the nerve to call the bill the ‘Regulatory Accountability Act,’ when in reality what it really does is cripple the agencies that are supposed to protect public health and the environment.

“The bill violates the principles of science and democracy. It would shackle agencies that implement public health and environmental laws with more than 70 new procedural requirements and give special interests and corporations more ways to derail policies that protect the public. Federal agencies that should be using the best available science to do their jobs would be subject to pointless hurdles and interference from big companies looking to game the system.

“If congressional leaders want to debate the laws that have protected public health and the environment for decades, they should do it, openly and directly. That’s a debate they’d lose, and they know it. So instead, they’re attacking the scientific process under the cover of ‘accountability,’ and they’re rushing a deliberately complicated and confusing bill through in the second week of a new Congress.”