Writing in The Hill this week, CPR's Bill Buzbee and Mažeika Patricio Sullivan expand on a point they and their co-authors on an important article in Science magazine last month made ably: The Trump administration is running roughshod over science and law in its efforts to deregulate.
Their Science article focused on the administration's gutting of Obama era protections for the nation's waterways, and in particular, the ways EPA had ignored compelling scientific evidence of the harm their rule rewriting would do. In their new op-ed in The Hill, Buzbee and Sullivan lay out their case on waterways, and go on to observe that the administration took a similar science-blind, law-ignored approach in other recent rulemakings. They write:
This month’s methane rollback for the oil and gas sector similarly used questionable data and science, also raising new legal hurdles for future regulation. The Trump administration recently weakened longstanding requirements that federal agencies disclose environmental risks of their actions and approvals under the National Environmental Policy Act. And broad grants of pollution compliance waivers, supposedly due to COVID-19, have allowed unmonitored pollution.
Furthermore, the Department of Energy just proposed rolling back shower head flow efficiency regulations, responding to President Trump’s complaints that shower head regulation destroyed his ability to wash his “beautiful” hair. The new proposal ignores investments in meeting the 2013 rule it replaced, jurisdictions dependent on water conservation, engineering innovations, or energy and climate effects of the 2013 regulation proposed for the scrap heap.