best available science

Why Senator Lankford’s “BEST Act” Is Really the Worst for Federal Science

, Washington representative, Center for Science and Democracy

A few weeks ago, Sen. James Lankford (OK) introduced legislation called the “Better Evaluation of Science and Technology Act,” or “BEST Act” for short. The proposal takes the scientific standards language from the recently updated Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and applies it to the Administrative Procedures Act (which governs all federal rulemaking). Sen. Lankford claims the BEST Act would guarantee that federal agencies use the best available science to protect public health, safety, the environment, and more.

Nice sound bite, right? Read more >

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The Endangered Species Act under Attack: Science, Politics, and the Real Meaning of Transparency

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

The cartoon below has never been more appropriate. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is attacked by political interests with some regularity, but the current proposal from the House Natural Resources Committee threatens to halt much of the science-based work that the law has enabled. Read more >

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The Secret Science Reform Act: Perhaps We Should Just Call it Catch-22

, , director, Center for Science & Democracy

Fifty years ago, the great American novelist Joseph Heller was in the midst of writing Catch-22, creating an enduring story and coining a phrase that has become part of our language.  According to Merriam-Webster, Catch-22 means “a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule.”  When I read the book years ago, I remember thinking it was a beautifully elegant example of another common aphorism, “Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.” Read more >

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Corporate Counterfeit Science – Both Wrong and Dangerous

, director, Center for Science & Democracy

Asbestos can kill you. We’ve all been warned about the dangers of breathing it in. That is why we test buildings for it and have rules to protect construction workers from exposure to it.  But how do we know asbestos is harmful? Because scientists have done studies of the dangers it poses to our health. And I’m glad they have so we can avoid these threats. Read more >

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Ozone, the Best Available Science, and a Game of Kick the Can

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

Recently, Politico reported (subscription) that White House Office of Management and Budget Director Cass Sunstein had this to say about whether politics trumped science in the president’s failure to set a science-based standard for ground-level ozone pollution:

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