Attorney General Becerra Issues Statement Denouncing Trump Administration’s Anti-Science Rule
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today issued the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement of a final rule allowing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ignore robust scientific research if the researchers are unable to comply with complex rules requiring public disclosure of some private health data. The EPA, like all agencies involved with public health research, regularly utilizes scientific studies that rely on confidential private health data, a common and accepted scientific practice that protects individuals’ sensitive and personal information.
“Under the guise of ‘transparency’, the Trump Administration today made it easier for the federal government to ignore legitimate health studies in favor of industry-funded reports,” said Attorney General Becerra. “If we’re going to identify chemicals that cause cancer and birth defects, protect public health, and secure our children’s future, we must embrace science – not discredit it. With this new rule, the Trump Administration is once again on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of science, and the wrong side of the law.”
Private health data has been used as underlying support for a variety of environmental and public health laws, including the Safe Drinking Water Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, and the Clean Air Act. For years, chemical and fossil fuel industry lobbyists have fought to ban EPA from considering science that employs this mainstream practice. Today's anti-science regulation will undercut the EPA’s ability to issue future regulations that protect public health and the environment.
In August 2018 and May 2020, Attorney General Becerra joined multi-state comment letters opposing the EPA's initial and supplemental proposals to effectively restrict the EPA’s access to critical scientific data.