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Public has a right to tax-funded data

A RECENT Globe editorial (“Foul air in Washington,” Sept. 20) mischaracterized my efforts to obtain taxpayer-funded scientific data from the EPA that are used to justify regulations that cost Americans billions of dollars every year.

Despite a commitment in September 2011 before the Science Committee by then-Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy to provide the data, the EPA has refused to make the data available to Congress or the American people.

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Virtually all Clean Air Act regulations under the Obama administration have been justified based on these data. The American people deserve all the facts and have a right to know whether the EPA is using good science. The validity of EPA regulations should be verified by independent scientists.

I have made clear that any personal health information that is in the data will be protected and removed before the data is made public. We are confident that the data can be de-identified with relative ease.

Ensuring public access to taxpayer funded-data that are used in regulations is good science and good government. If the EPA has nothing to hide, why not make the information public?

Lamar Smith


The author, a Texas Republican, chairs the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

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