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Diversity, equity official to leave GW in July
By Jenna Lee, Assistant News Editor • June 8, 2024

Some EPA regulations formed from political bias, study finds

Updated: July 7, 2017 at 10:38 a.m.

The Environmental Protection Agency disguised controversial policy as science in crafting clean air rules, a study by the head of GW’s Regulatory Studies Center found.

Susan Dudley, the center’s director, and Marcus Peacock, the executive vice president of the Business Roundtable, an association comprised of CEOs of major American companies published the study last week, focusing how the EPA established air quality standards under the Clean Air Act.

The study criticizes the EPA for a “biased” approach in forming regulations because researchers said the agency was not transparent about several studies and research showing there were risks to some standards.

“Biasing science advice or framing issues as resolvable solely by science threatens the credibility of the scientific process and damages resulting regulatory policy,” researchers said in the study.

The EPA uses the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee to review its standards and make suggestions on regulations. The researchers charge in the study that the committee has the ability to advance their own policy preferences to influence EPA’s decisions, preferences that at times didn’t have a scientific basis.

Dudley and Peacock wrote that officials in charge of regulations are often motivated to mask the politicization of scientific issues and to disregard uncertainty and dissenting opinions, according to the study.

The agency has drawn ire from many Republicans in recent years for being overly aggressive in regulating private industry. President Donald Trump has rolled back several EPA regulations in his first several months in office and proposed to slash the agency’s budget.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported Susan Dudley’s official title. She is the director of the Regulatory Studies Center. We regret this error.

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