tv EPA Administrator Wheeler Discusses Regulatory Reform CSPAN January 5, 2021 1:48pm-2:55pm EST
>> on wednesday, the u.s. house of representatives and the u.s. senate will meet in a joint session to tally the results of the electoral college ballots for president and vice president in the 2020 election. some republican lawmakers are expected to use this congressional vote count to object to joe biden's wins in numerous swing states. watch live coverage at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. you can also watch at c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> you're watching c-span, your unfiltered view of government. c-span was created by america's
cable television companies in 1979. today, we are brought to you by these television companies who provide c-span to viewers as a ublic service. >> now environmental protection agency administrator adrew wheeler, he announces a new rule his agency was implementing that he said would bring scientific transparency to the agency's rule making process. from a competitive enterprise nstitute, just over an hour. >> good morning, everyone, a special welcome to our awed bice by c-span. i'm kent of the comprehensive enterprise institute. for the next hour i'll be your host in how science is used in the development of regulatorypolicy. scientific knowledge is not fixed. crucial to the emergence of new, useful kfings it's a prssess
that demands review, replication, and validation of what we know and how we came to know t today's program is part of a series. since last april we have hosted more than two dozen events with leading lawmakers, regulators, academics, and authors. all this programming is available at our website, www.cei.org. and on our youtube page. like each of our past programs i want to include you in your conversation. if you have a question for me or one of our speakers, please use the "q&a" feature at the bottom of your screen or email at events at cei.org. for members of the media, i'll do my best to prioritize your questions and read them in their entirety. i ask only that you include your name and the outlet in the question. for all other questions they will be presented only with your
first name. as a reminder to everyone, today's program is being recorded and will be rebroadcast. i'm excited for today's guests. we have my kron ebell and andrew wheeler. byron is my colleague here at c.e.i. where he leads our center on environment and he's been intimately involved with policy development on political political and the executive branch. special insight into how the environmental protection agency operates. perhaps no one better understands today's e.p.a. policy process than the administrator, andrew wheeler. rather than spend time, precious time, on our recitation of his biography, i'd like to get to the heart of things. pl wheeler has worked closely with the public to develop significant reforms to e.p.a. policy and i'm looking forward to hearing from him today about a new rule to advance transparency and improve the quality of information used at the e.p.a. administrator wheeler, welcome to c.e.i.
please tell us what have you been working on and what problem does this new regulation address? mr. wheeler: thank you kent and byron. i appreciate you hosting today's program. i want to thank everyone for joining us as well. today i am proud to announce the signing of our new rule strengthening transparency and pivotal science. the rule deals with issues concerning transparency and the integrity of e.p.a.'s use of science are at the core of the agency's reputation. the scientific method operates in a circuit from hypothesis to experiment to observation and then back to experiment to retest itself. that method is the foundation for agency science. both science and transparency have been at the center of the e.p.a. since its founding in 1970. a lot has changed since the
1970's. the science and our regulations have gotten more complex. in the 1970's, for any given topic, the agency may have had a few dozen studies in order to guide their decisions. today we have hundreds if not thousands of studies to help guide individual decisions. and the american public is more in tune for various scientific questions today than they were then. the american public deserves to know which studies we are using to craft regulations and which of those studies are key or pivotal to our decisions. and to the extent possible, that great should be available for the public to see. for a number of reasons, regulatory decisions have gotten more contentious over the decades, and i believe if we explain the rationale behind our decisions, including the science that we use to make them, they
will be better accepted by the public. the american people want to be more involved and they want to understand. and they deserve that opportunity. the american people's trust in government and their trust in the media is at an all-time low. and who can blame them when they see politicians arguing over scientific facts and environmental activists masquerading as environmental reporters. who are they to believe? that's one reason why we have seen an increase in citizen science. when i started at e.p.a. in 1991, i worked on the community right to know law and i fundamentally believe that the american public has a right to know about our regulations and their scientific underpinnings. back in the 1980's administrator ruckelshaus wrote an historic memorandum in which he demanded
that the e.p.a. employees act in the open and ensure that the basis of the agency's decisions appear in the record. this public position has been carried forward and echoed by each one of my predecessors, republican and democrat, because transparency knows no political ideology. this rule was initially proposed back in 2018 and in march of last year e.p.a. announced a supplement rule making making public comment. there was controversy then and there is controversy now over the rule, much of it is the result of misreporting in the press. so i will go over what is actually in the rule. this rule establishes how e.p.a. considers the use of response data that underpins pivotal science uses significant actions and scientific information.
by dose response i mean the data used to characterize quantitative relationship between the amount of dose or exposure or contaminant and the effect of that dose or exposure on people or the environment. this rule will apply only to future significant regulatory actions or influential scientific information and has no retrospective effect on agency options. it protects personal information and confidential business information and does not require the release of either, despite misrepresentations in the press as late as this morning. the rule does not categorically exclude or prohibit the use of any study but rather requires e.p.a. give greater consideration or weighting to studies where the underlying dose response data are available in a manner sufficient for independent validation.
this can include data that are publicly available or very importantly are available through restrictive access. that also has not been reported in the press. the rule ensures that all science go through independent pier review that is consistent with guidance from the office of management and budget. and finally, the rule requires the agency clearly identify and make publicly available the science in forming a significant regulatory action. this rule applies only to e.p.a. and its internal procedures. it does not direct the actions of any third party. nearly all of the criticisms of the rule are essentially the same, that the new rule will somehow weaken the sighens informing e.p.a.'s actions. this claim is a strange one and one that is being repeated by people who have clearly not read the rule for themselves. i recommend the people read the rule before allowing the
interpretation of others to be your own. e.p.a. can secure independent validation of results and still protect confidential and personal information. what this new rule will do undoubtedly is provide the transparency needed to allow the public the opportunity to check our work. transparency is a defense of not an attack on important work done by our career scientists here at e.p.a., along with our colleagues, the research institutions around the country. to restrict scientific inquiry would violate everything this agency has done over the past 50 years to improve human and the environment. we believe this new rule will support the best science and strengthen the legal defense of our rule makings. opponents of this rule have made unsubstaniated claims against it and misrepresented its effect which makes me wonder what their mowive is.
i believe a number -- motive s i believe a number of the critics are very cynically trying to kill this effort because they prefer the agency make decisions and proverbial smoke-filled backroom where they don't have to explain how the agency reached a particular decision on a pesticide or chemical. i look at the environmental justice communities in particular. in louisiana, or texas, or west virginia where the right to know law showed them how much of a chemical was being released in their neighborhoods. this rule tells them what science we use to regulate those chemicals. this week congress is considering legislation to require more transparency and executive branch budget request. those members believe that more transparency on the budget will help congress and the american public. those same members should support more transparency for e.p.a. science and regulations.
why would anyone want our decisions to be made in secret? in the past, increased transparency strengthened e.p.a.'s credibility among the public. i continue to pursue that today. . we are all stakeholders in the work of the e.p.a. i want to thank you, again, for your time, and thank you for hosting us today. forward to taking some questions. thank you. >> wonderful. thank you. i know we have questions for you. they started coming right in. myron, let me get you into this conversation. rule about transparency, one might say it's been 50 years in making, referenced the establishment of the e.p.a. today, least in the form going to the federal register,
the rule changed significantly draft rule over the past three years. mr. lassman: what have you what are the developments with the rule as it that we'll be living with? changed?t mr. ebell: thank you. of call you andrew instead administrator so i don't get tongue tied. e.p.a.'s credit and to andrew's they went back to the drawing board. he new rule has broadened the application but narrowed what it does.
i think people to solve the of integrity and crisis, for ity many this rule may be a disappointment. think what we need to understand is it's an incremental step forward that of this wider crisis in scientific integrity, problem with e science is, if i may borrow a outlet, a media scientific innovation and darkness.dies in and this rule, i think, not only of the problem in the interaction between science regulations, but it also wider utes to the conversation we need to have about the junk
science, the secret junk science problem that is plaguing our society. only corrupts not politics, corrupts the regulatory process and the alsolative process, but it corrupts science. real hink this rule is a contribution to the wider debate problem.g the we can talk perhaps later what else needs to be done, but i this is a really great step forward. i'm glad, i think, they fixed of the identified problems in the rule. get right : let's into the questions. mr. wheeler, i saw you leaning forward. if you want to comment on that. maybe you can wrap it into the from a estion we have reporter. ann labelle mary and talking about the nature of the rule being forward-looking
retrospective aspects. she said, although administrator wheeler says it does not have etrospective effects, the e.p.a. is looking at the science on particulate matter. quality it affect air standards? nd secondly, will the early studies that relied on confidential health data be this assessments? this is really the heart of the of the early feedback of the draft rule. that? you address mr. wheeler: sure. that's a great question. i appreciate that. scientific study, rulemaking, that will be absolutely ruled out agency. by the the older studies can very well probably will nd be used. et's take, for example, and
there's been misreporting in the from thethe city study 1980's.t's say that was a pivotal scientific p.m. particularly for science. department ye ind -- identified in future rulemaking -- for example, we just finished the review. the six-city study was cited. we used more recent studies to decision on the p.m. this year. for example, if the agency anted to use that in the next five-year review, they take a look at that, they take a look available to the public. they take a look at whether it's restrictive every fashion. the six-city study was looked at by the institute years ago.
they reviewed it. they had restricted access to that information. so i can't prejudge any study.lar it's very easy for that one to qualify to continue to be used information was available in restricted fashions and independent peer review. people think peer eview means the peer reviewers look at the underlying data and that's usually not the case. most don't and age, look at the underlying data when they peer review the study. want to make sure it's available to the public or restricted a fashion. when you look at personal health it's very likely that will have to be made vailable in a restricted fashion. let's say the six-city study, it could pass muster under the fact reviewed by an independent party with restricted access. occurred, t hadn't under the regulation, the
administrator of the e.p.a. can a study important and necessary for its scientific regulation if it's a pivotal study, if it's really to the agency for that rulemaking. so there is an exemption where can still stepor in even if that data was not available publicly or not vailable in a restricted fashion. the administrator can still say, this is a pivotal that still has for a decision. so there is no study that will automatically be cut out from going by the agency forward. our goal in this is to make as many of these -- the pivotal use for a regulatory decision, make that information public.e to the another aspect of this is very important. the city agency to identify what studies.ivotal when we look at the p.m. -- when review for he p.m. under the nacs, we're looking at hundreds if not thousands of studies. most people can maybe figure out we consider pivotal
based upon the staff report, but be requiring that the agency actually identify which of the studies they're looking them as pivotal. i think that's very important. hat alone is a huge step forward in transparency for our actually s, for us to identify what are the pivotal studies, what are the important of the hundreds of thousands of studies we use for regulatory decisions, what are the studies that are really at our regulatory decisions, and i think that alone, even if the data is not step ble, is an important forward for transparency. me, assman: it sounds to putting this agency, we have confidence in our work, willing to show our work to demonstrate, these are the studies we're relying on and came to our e conclusions. is that a fair representation the public to understand the
rule? mr. wheeler: absolutely. i've been privileged to serve as the 15th administrator of this agency. only had 15 administrators in our 50-year history and in of our meetings, i had our career scientists briefing me. fully support and agree with he briefings that i received and the recommendations that 've received from the e.p.a. staff. but that information as an administrator of the e.p.a., if not information is routinely available to the public, the public doesn't know what the administrator looks at recommendations from the staff as far as what studies are important. think that should be made public. which is the heart of what we're trying to do here. try to take the decision-making of the proverbial background, shine some light on tell the public, this is the basis for our regulation. administrator is making the decision on whether
or not to regulate and what level to regulate. i believe that if we explain that to the american public, better -- there will be better acceptance of our scientific decisions. oracleow, we appear some saying this is how it's going to be and this is what the is what the his standard is going to be and we don't explain to the american public how we made that decision. all i'm trying to do with the science transparency the cost e did with benefit transparency a few weeks ago. wanting to make all this available to the public and shine light on it. mr. lassman: now, i've seen example, senator carper has said, prior to the coming out, in this period between a draft and what came that the today, e.p.a.'s trying to limit the use of scientific data. to a question we have from nick, who asks -- is to the ject congressional review act?
if you received these ongressional criticisms prior to the rule being made public, is it subject nd to the c.r.a.? mr. wheeler: thank you for that question. right.f all, you're senator carper put out a statement last week. he and his staff have not read final regulation. i think it will be great if our before actually review they criticize us. his knee jerk reaction is just not helpful ain the public discourse. as far as the second question on whether the congressional review act is applicable, it is not. so from under both prongs, this to the be subject congressional review act.
would suggest at t's more of a management decision, right, for you and future administrators, how you want to run an honest agency reports to the public in the best way possible? conversations with ransition teams or other folks about maintaining and implementing this rule going forward? mr. wheeler: no. to my knowledge we have not had ny questions from the transition team about this. we made available to the transition team literally pages in binders on topics that we've been putting together over the last year. team the biden transition certified by g.s.a., i believe, they requested a number of briefings and i think we different ver 50 briefings for them but i don't
this has been one of those briefings. and i do want to hit on that you said, it seems like be a internal management. t is an internal management regulation. this codifies what o.m.b. has in place, however, it's not been regulation. so what we're saying from this point forward, there will be a cause of action. people will be able to take us to court if we don't follow this regulation today. empowers the american demand future transparency from this agency going forward. that's why we thought it was mportant to do it as a rulemaking instead of just as, for example, you know, a memo on how elf to the staff to conduct regulatory rulemaking. myron, did i see you leaning forward to try to join the conversation there? mr. ebell: thank you. i think i'll defer and let a
couple questions come in. couple of re are a very interesting issues that have been raised here but i interestingare some questions on the board here. mr. lassman: let's keep going and try to keep explaining what's happening here. wheeler, i have a question from annie schneider from "politico" and she asks, i see the final rouule cites good implementing immediately. are there any forthcoming rules that you expect to this effect? before you answer ms. you ider's question, could also explain, for the lay audience, what is the term good mean? wheeler: first of all, let annie's question before i get to the good cause question. publication inte the federal register and we
expect to be published tomorrow. signed it last wednesday and we told me it will be printed in tomorrow's federal register. bigger question is whether proposed applies to rule makings and it does not. proposed s a rulemaking, we don't have to go agency.an makings s to the rule that is happening internally within the agency. care of an: that takes our next question cheryl at chemical engineering news who effective now the date. effective tomorrow. i'd also encourage our audience, took have access to it, at -- look at today's wall street journal. today.an essay published which leads me to the question, these rules are a
very big deal. they affect hundreds of millions of people at a time. how much time and energy do you your staff put into explaining them once you've come to the decision about what to do? seems like we almost have mini campaigns around the communication efforts. is this something you devote a time to? mr. wheeler: absolutely. rulemaking, this in particular, we went out for public comment twice. we proposed this in 2018, and we went out with a supplemental proposal earlier this year. we received more comments. two nk overall between the public comment periods we robably had over a million comments. so part of what we did was respond to those comments in the rulemaking which is why it took time to put all of this together. we respond to all of the issues public e raised in the comments. but we also, more importantly, those public comments and made changes to the final regulation.
mentioned earlier, we both broadened and narrowed at the same time. e listened to what people told us. we addressed concerns that they had. there are concerns that the riginal proposal would have been retroactive. we said at the time it wouldn't what we did during the final rulemaking tomorrow is specify in writing this will not be retroactive. so we -- you know, we listened o the concerns that were raised. not just through the public comment period but also concerns when i testified before congress and meeting with groups country.e but as far as trying to explain public, particularly when you have environmental ctivists mask raiding as environmental -- masquerading as environmental reporters when an agenda and the agenda is not to present the truth at times. you know, it's been hard to
explain to theto american public what we're doing. and i appreciate you all to participateay with you in this announcement. will say -- i don't know if you have this question or not. c.s.i.?his with does this mean we agree with verything that c.e.i. says and does? i look at c.e.i., your believes in that transparency in government and ou all championed that now for decades. and you believe fundamentally in i nsparency and that's why thought it was appropriate to do this event with you all today. doesn't mean we agree on everything. fact, you have sued me. particular -- and on the itself, and i'll never forget attending your annual guess, wo years ago, i right before rule came out and in your remarks, i was in the
audience, you said you would making any comments on the rule because you wanted to read it first because you may me.up suing you waited a few weeks and you did announce you were suing us. i get aggravated with, some of the organizations out there announced and attorney generals in some of the states they announced they're suing us actually y have even read the regulation. so i want to applaud you for reading the regulations before you reach judgments and conclusions on whether or not something and whether or not you're going to litigate. that.aud you for doing i wish everybody did. e don't always agree on everything. but here we do agree transparency is important, that more erican public needs transparency in what the government does. mr. ebell: could i -- mr. lassman: you both want to talk on that one. to remind folks in those
i did -- i did tell the the ace rule overwhelmingly was a significant step forward. but we were going to pay attention to details. and that's why we took the time every single provision to make sure they were in keeping with the rule of law and the actual authority by congress. myron, why don't you go ahead? have a series of other questions. i inadvertently kept you out of the conversation here. you haven't., andrew, i appreciate that. i'm glad you mentioned we of ort transparency and, course, we filed a lot of foia theests against e.p.a. over years and in affect heffect had to file lawsuits to try to things. i do want to say, we're honored you.st ven though we don't always
agree. a sign, the nk debate, we can disagree about things and still talk about them. what struck me about this rule, particular, but also the your of you and predecessor, scott pruitt, during this administration, the certain used scientific organizations and toironmental pressure groups essentially misinform the public what you're doing. you mentioned that. want to underscore, the reports that have come out since event yesterday media have tream been disgraceful. there's this thing, defending industry or something. his is absurd as well as shameful. but i want to ask you about one
of the issues that's raised the scientific -- some of the scene terrific like the aaas, and studies out the use of that have personal, confidential them.ation in and the six-city study is a good example of that. epidemiological studies have personal information. that this rule the ow threatens confidentiality of the study or the study can't be used because public.a can't be made how the rule ify will handle things that have c.b.i., p.i. or personal information or business information? mr. wheeler: sure. firmly state that -- that used.studies can still be
does not need to be disclosed. what we did back in the final to the advisory board and they provided great suggestions that we incorporated the final regulation. as i mentioned on the six-city tudy -- mr. lassman: and -- could i ask you to pause and repeat that sentence. to make everybody hear that. correctly, p.p.i. studies can be used and the information does not have to be disclosed? absolutely. mr. lassman: ok. i just wanted to have clarity. not need to it does be disclosed to the public. it can still be used. underlying data can be made available to the public, it can be made available through restricted access. the underlying data can be available and it is. look at h.h.s. underlying data, sually p.p.i. information,
available by masking the individuals. there are ways to make the data available. done, you can not make the data available through restricted access. at the end of the day, if there important study that involves p.p.i. data and it can you dependently reviewed, can't grant restricted access but still important because it's study, the pivotal administrator of the agency can say, this study can still be used for regulatory purposes. there are so many, you know, ifferent ways you can get that tudy in to the regulatory process that the claims that are again, by by -- activists are just under founded and it shows they have not read r they did not understand the regulation. how assman: randy asks us, does this new rule -- the
quality act, peer review guidelines? hand in er: it works hand with the peer review guidelines but, again, it's important to remember that not reviewed studies, the peer reviewers don't in fact, to times don't have access the underlying data. but we did follow the o.m.b., office of management and budget, review guidelines here in drafting of this regulation. again, peer review doesn't question is ifhe the information is available to the public. the peer review process has come under attacks in years through a of scientific journals. i know myron has spoken to this issue. it's important as much data as possible, the pivotal studies -- when we make a regulatory decision, we look at hundreds of studies. what we're doing here is saying, hundreds of studies we look at or even thousands in
some cases, what are the pivotal that are the basis for our regulations? pivotal studies, we say, is that data available to the public? we then look at whether it's available through restricted access, and if it's then it's not weighted as high. it's interesting. read in one of the articles today, and i think this was quoting from senator carper's study from china this past spring saying that hat study may not be available for us to use. quite frankly, with the misinformation coming out of daily basis and the whole problem we had with oronavirus, i would hope that any future e.p.a. administrator will look skeptically at any research coming out of china if is not available. it goes to the heart at what frustrates some of those in the country when we base a a scientific study from china where the data is not
available. ow do we know the data is accurate? so that was a red herring i that was thrown out there by the staff. study weret, if that vital to the agency, the e.p.a. administrator can still allow that study to be considered. hope that anybody would take a skeptical look at any ally coming from there with of the misinformation we get on whether or not that data is available. r. lassman: there's a topic here, as i read through the encourage thech i entire audience to do. is not, it's scientific information. it's not rocket science. through the get material. work may way right through it in sitting. -- work my way through it in one sitting. there is an issue that jumped like a flashing light. and i can see the argument for
t and it also put a little bit of a shiver in my spine. was hoping you could explain the parameters around administrator discretion. how does discretion work with rule?w how can you as an administrator make decisions to not follow the to exclude certain studies? ast could you talk about that bit? mr. wheeler: sure. nd i thought this was important. in the event there is a pivotal study that is fundamental to regulation and that information not available to the public, is not available through restricted access, if it's we ly that fundamental and have to use it, then there needs to be a process in place to allow the use of that study. that put in the regulation the dministrator of e.p.a. -- you know, this is
14,000-person agency -- this rests on the administrator. we put this in the proposal but didn't explain it well in the proposal. what we did in the final was lay the number of steps administrator has to take a look at. and it's laid out in the regulation. whether or not the pivotal study is important enough to be used, if it doesn't meet the data access requirements. and the administrator has to lay using this study and explain why they're allowing the use of this study. to -- this is -- you know, this is difficult at times. these questions. but i wanted to make sure that pivotal study that needed to be used that it can be used but require the use of it to be explained by the agency. have to explain in the rulemaking, in the preamble
make sure to o explain why it's not publicly available. understand when you say it should give you a shiver up your also like part of it as well. it's a difficult decision. used ine it will be sparingly in the future. goingat will be different forward is that the administrator would have to explain in the rulemaking that hey allowed the use of the pivotal science without the data being available. o just that explanation, i think, should help with you and others comfort who want to ything to be open sunshine. i agree that everything should be open to sunshine but as an sitting here over number 2 1/2 years, a of briefings from the agency staff, there's been some study that i would say were absolutely pivotal and we needed to use whether or not information is available to the public. rule wasn't being applied
over the last 2 1/2 years so i don't know if they made the information available. i will look at important studies that were the underpinnings of a our regulations saying this was used for this regulation. i am not saying that data wasn't available. i don't know. i have not gone back to look. an administrator of the agency, the mission of this agency is to protect the public health and the environment. day, anybody the sitting in this chair as administrator of the e.p.a. needs to make the best decisions protecting public health and the environment. hat's the mission of our agency. and that has to be the guiding principle -- that's been the every principle for decision i made and that has to be the guiding principle going forward. thing that's ne come up over the years with our eview of the agency, and i think it might have some baring with the new rule about
transparency, is not only the that the e.p.a. does that elies on outside comments and outside scientific knowledge that is developed but the work does to generate that. so you spend a lot of money. you issue grants to study things. information.w would the next incremental step transparency on take some version of this and apply it to the grant-making process? mr. wheeler: well, it's already there. when we issue grants, we expect information is made available to the public. so we are doing that. and that should be in place going forward. the transparency that i outlined that speech, i believe was at the nixon library, this fall, this is a
rule.ork framework rule for the entire agency. and then going forward, what i i still we do, and believe is necessary, is to have separate science transparency regulation for each of our major statutes. and my plan was to after this ulemaking was finished and i believe the office took the lead on the cost benefit regulation, they were , and scheduled to take the first lead on the science transparency regulation. was disciplinary steps to start the process. goal is when we had the science rulemaking for the then l framework that we approach each statute on a basis and statute further define how we'll use it under each of our statutes. it's important and important to the agency to accomplish at some point in the future. myron, let me ask
you. administrator wheeler made earlier of the message used protecting personal nformation and how those messages can be adopted across government and implemented here. are there things that other on scientificrely information can learn from what the e.p.a.'s done here? specifically organizations like at the department of commerce and noaa other e of these scientifically driven organizations that too often bloox for those of us trying to understand where hey come up with policy recommendations? mr. ebell: thanks, kent. think at scientific agencies that don't have any a lot of the ers, science done at noaa doesn't things or o regulate nasa. agency s a regulatory part excellance.
secret lem we have with science, climate science, for nasa, is t noaa and we're expected to believe, it's scientists.'re and that's career scientists at outsidecy and it's also science. you know, trust us, we're scientists. at e.p.a., the problem is not it's trust us, we're regulators. and you can't trust either unless you have transparency. hat's why this rule is important and i think it does have an application at some of regulatory agencies. i think actually interior, you now, we had a discussion with hart, david rn burnhart, and we talked about the e.p.a. rules that we've to reform the endangered species act, and i think they done similar things there. andrew may know that.
there is a common theme we need less trustarency and us we're scientists, trust us, we're regulatorses. to under -- regulators. i do want to underscore something andrew said previously which is very important. of people on our side are concerned this rule just doesn't enough. it still has too many -- too much discretion per theed a -- administrator to overrule what's in the regulation. think that is a quite misunderstanding of the rule, and i think andrew clarified it read think people need to the rule. it's available today or tomorrow in preprint online at the register. key is is that right now agencyinistrator and the have complete discretion to do everything they want for the way they use science and they're not really accountable. this rule says that the has that tor still discretion. we recognize the way the agency
set up the administrator has discretion to do things. when he does something involving a scientific issue to in regulation, he has explain why this particular study that we're not actually satisfied with the transparent, t we're still going to use it but i'm going to now have to explain and he also it said earlier, and i think this important, this rule ives outside parties the ability to file lawsuits, eventually, and that applies not only to groups on our side. applies to environmental pressure groups and scientific groups. sides.te a.g.'s on both republicans and democrats. is a hink that this rule big step forward in putting the dministrator, making him accountable for essentially discretionary decisions.
summary s that a fair of a couple key points? mr. wheeler: absolutely. i want to reiterate for the other critics of this this rulemaking, none of the discretion of the away. administrator goes the e.p.a. administrator still thethe same discretion that administrator had and always have. will have to tor explain why they are using a the information is not available to the public. again, it's sunshine. transparency. and you're absolutely right. i think people may litigate some this. when we make the information available for why we're making our decisions and identifying we're using, because my goal is through this and our to reduce t rule is litigation and to reduce
misunderstanding of our decisions. because i really do believe if explain to the public, we do a better job explaining to the public what we're doing, there a more acceptance in our regulatory decisions. back to st -- and i go the 1990's. i criticized some of the by the decision at the time on the ozone and studies were h being used. there were several congressional then gs with the administrator browner trying to explain to the committees in which e house and senate studies she used and which studies she didn't use in making her decision. the agency had upfront stated which were the pivotal studies and they made the information available to those studies. those a lot of controversies in the 1990's would have gone away. let me ask -- we're starting to run short on time.
i have another question that in the weeds from maria of inside e.p.a. and i will read that to you before we to any wrap-up. i do have one or two other questions for you. maria at inside e.p.a. could the administrator address affect the cy will taska program? with a limited number of studies based on the valuations of existing chemicals as well as .b.i. issues, which we discussed, and releasing studies for several others. how will the e.p.a. ensure this doesn't exacerbate those forward?ing studies in very small numbers. sure.eeler: i don't think it will exacerbate that problem at all. in fact, it should help clear up some of the decisions under the new taska, as far as which
studies we're using and which we consider pivotal. again, if there's only five or underudies for a chemical the taska program, i would imagine that all those studies ould need to be considered pivotal. hopefully that data is available. that program, we just finished first 10 risk r assessments. nd we're already getting a lot of questions from interest groups on both sides about how decisions.g these and i think having that publicly n out there is going to be very key to the implementation of the taska rule. i don't see this hampering taska at all. i think it will help enhance the decision-making that we're using. it's my understanding a lot of the studies we've used under these ogram for hemicals, the data has been available. going forward, we want to make
sure we identify those studies and make sure l that data is available and if not, the administrator, again, that study on the -- the study use regardless availability of the data. i don't think that will be a all.lem or issue at mr. lassman: myron, before i ask the administrator for one last question and for his closing have any do you wrap-up observations you'd like to make? yes.bell: well, i think there are a couple of uestions that haven't been addressed that i think bill summarized some of them. et me just ask that and say this is a concern to everyone. who looks at the regulatory and what you've done to deregulate and what you've done o bring, you know, sound procedures and sound science process.regulatory bill asks, how much of the
progress made by administrator this and other issues an be undone by the incoming administration? darren asks a similar question, would you agree by getting public comments and more outside expertise on the pivotal science being used the e.p.a. will robably make more sound regulations? well, of course, i think we can say yes. that's a softball question. get to the point to helpprocess is going going forward in future there trations whether antithetical or opposed or trying to get their through despite what the science may say. do.ill limit what they can is that a correct summation of why this rule is important, the fact the people coming in may not like it and
to ignore it? mr. wheeler: i'm not sure i'll this will limit what they can do. maybe i'm taking you out of comment.n that you know, this rule, we had a employees across all of our offices. office research and development the lead in the writing of this rulemaking. this is supported by the career across the agency. we worked with attorneys in our office as well's as attorneys at the department of justice on the legal this rule and i believe, and a lot of our staff help e this is going to make our regulatory decisions legally sound by publicizing and explaining the science that we're using. going to hopefully decrease amount of litigation on the
scientific questions. judges fully maybe get out of the habit of making scientific determinations for the agency. the science what is that we use for a regulation, believe, to help, i explain to the courts the rationale behind our decision. back at -- i look back at this summer. thank you. you.scernible] thank the decision with the ninth ircuit out in california when they went ahead and banned the dicamba and made a lot of statements about what they hought we said and what they thought the agency believed on behalf of the science.
dicamba f the original registration had been more clear, and i think our this summer for dicamba where we put more specificity in the science we using to make our determination of dicamba, if we had done that upfront the original registration, i think it would have avoided the entire ninth court decision in the case. i think whenever the agency betters its science in a fashion, you'll have better regulatory decisions and you'll have a better process when it to litigation. and i think we learned our lesson on dicamba the first time implemented it in the decision this summer. myron, sorry.s -- i think you had two questions. i answered the second one. didn't answer the first one. mr. ebell: that suggests that your -- mr. lassman: that's ok. answered it adequately and we're, i think, wants you to sum up now and
event on time. mr. lassman: i do have one final question for you. it as youran include summary. our forward-looking discussion and like myron, i want to thank you for what you've been doing make thisthe staff to information going forward more available for review? the public understand what the decisions are, how they've been arrived at, and expect going forward. but i'd like you to step for a the habit out of that you have, a very good appen, of trying to follow the law, and administer the agency according to the dictates of the as it is and ask you to speak for a moment directly to work on of people who capitol hill. we're being covered today by c-span. as well as i that it's piped into every single office nd it's the channel of choice for lawmakers.
what would you have congress hange that would help the e.p.a. do better work? so you have an open pipeline. speaking only directly to dozens of reporters at this moment but to lawmakers their staff. what should the next congress do to strengthen the e.p.a., you operate, and make these sorts of scientific decisions better? well, kent, i appreciate you pointing out that follow the law. and i do. i also follow the dministrative -- the administration's requirements and that is not to advocate to changes in any laws without going through o.m.b. and the white house first. i would -- [indiscernible] startedler: you know, i my job at the e.p.a. and then i worked in the senate for 14 years and i was a staff director for the senate environment and public works committee. important ul and committee on capitol hill.
and, you know, i guess a message the members of the congress, an i wrote about this in op-ed recently in a newspaper, years think over the congress has ceded too much to regulatory agencies. on the one hand, they tie our cases with e processes, and in the other much they cede too authority to agencies. i think part of what i tried to o and part of what this administration, under president trump's leadership, what we tried to do is open up the transparency.more and that's been fundamental to everything that we've done. we've number of reforms done here at the agency. president trump issued an year ive order last requiring that all guidance documents be made available to a searchable database. and e.p.a. was the first agency
with that this year. we didn't know how many guidance had.ents we we had over 10,000 guidance documents. think we actually had over 12,000. we ended up rescinding 1,000 guidance documents that were unnecessary. to follow.l had they were basically, you know, requirements for the agency. over a thousand guidance documents and we guidance.over 10,000 it's an awful lot for one regulatory agency. searchablee are on a database for the public to see. i don't think we get enough administration. i don't think president trump gets enough credit for wanting processes,government o sunlight the scrutiny to the public. he firmly believes the public has a right to know what the doing.ent is and that's what he's been fighting for years. i've been fighting that for as well. as e.p.a. administrator --
e.p.a. administrator, requiring the agency to be up front with he cost and benefits of all regulations going forward, to our -- to the permitting reforms in place, where we've gotten our permitting down to cases.ix months, in most to the guidance documents being ade available on a public database. today's decision on science transparency, where we are american to the public for the first time, what are the science studies that we regulatory r our the data for those studies can be sure they public.lable to the and i want to, again, thank you for hosting this. kent, thank you so much. great to see you again. i appreciate c.e.i. hosting this event today. want to reflect that back to you. i appreciate the work that you've been doing. to explain your work and show your work.
please stay healthy. just to ask our audience for 90 seconds of your time, as we wrap up, you will directed to a e short survey. it will take less than two minutes of your time. shape the programming going forward. as you know, over the past many we've had really some participate.s and that is in part due to your information, your feedback. so whether it's chairman -- pai from the f.c.c., commissioner pierce from the lee, all of or these folks and the issues they ave addressed in part are informed by the information that we received from you. you to rward, i want stay tuned, not only to our webpage, where you can find all programs, but to your email so you'll have information about upcoming topic that that administrator wheeler just losed with, the october, 2019, executive order on dark matter
databases sequent that are created by regulatory agencies, all of that has been how it's been rolled out, the successes and the cruz.es by our own wayne so please look for that information on our website as well. ha andy, myron, thank you, both, very much. we'll close. mr. wheeler: thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> join us at 8:00 p.m. eastern we follow wsb-tv atlanta's between of the races republican senator david perdue candidate osoff her elly loeffler and democratic challenger. c-span.org, or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> on wednesday, the u.s. house
of representatives and the u.s. meet in a joint session to tally the results of the electoral college ballots and vice president in the 2020 election. some republican lawmakers are expected to use this count to nal vote object to joe biden's wins in numerous swing states. coverage at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. c-span.orgo watch at or listen on the free c-span radio app. c-span, your ching unfiltered view of government. -span was created by america's cable television companies in 1979. oday, we're brought to you by these television companies who provide c-span to viewers as a public service. new york city y, mayor bill de blasio held a briefing with reporters on the combat efforts to covid-19 and