PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Applauds End of ‘Secret Science’ at EPA

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt today announced the end of “secret science” at the agency. The new rule, subject to a 30-day comment period, will require the underlying data of scientific studies used to make federal environment and energy policy be open to public inspection and possible criticism.

The following statements from environment and energy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments – or to book a guest for your program via Heartland’s professional TV studio – please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“Another week at the EPA, another victory for transparency by Scott Pruitt. For decades, the EPA has improperly claimed massive power to regulate nearly every aspect of our economy and lives. It is long overdue that the EPA should make such data and collection methods available for public review and analysis.”

Tim Huelskamp, Ph.D.
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

Dr. Huelskamp represented Kansas’ 1st District in the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017.


“EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s announcement marks the beginning of the end of one of the biggest scandals in the history of public health research and of the Environmental Protection Agency. Badly flawed research on the human health effects of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) conducted during the 1980s and 1990s was used to justify regulations forcing thousands of corporations and hundreds of coal-powered electricity generation plants to close. Subsequent research shows ambient levels of PM2.5 have little or no adverse effects on human health, yet the regulations remain in place, like zombies, killing jobs and endangering public health and well-being by unnecessarily raising the cost of energy and causing unemployment. The Obama administration exploited this corrupt science to wage its war on fossil fuels, a war now thankfully being brought to an end by President Trump.

“Demanding the end of reliance on secret science may be the most consequential decision made by EPA since the election of Donald Trump. This day vindicates the efforts of some real heroes in the public health debate – Dr. Robert Phalen, Dr. James Enstrom, Dr. John Dunn, M.D., and Steve Milloy. It is a day for celebration by everyone who supports sound science and environmental protection.”

Joseph Bast
Director and Senior Fellow
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]


“It is amazing that the public ever allowed a government agency supported by their taxes to hide the information used to restrict their lives through regulation. It is only surprising that the leftist EPA and our court system allowed this to take place for so long. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is finally reining in the out of control regulatory process.

Jay Lehr
Science Director
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]


“Large, complex data sets, depending on how the analysis is done, can come to opposite conclusions. Requiring data in a paper to be public before the paper can be used for regulatory decisions make good science sense. Transparency is a critical part of good science along with a published analysis protocol and making analysis code available.”

S. Stanley Young, Ph.D.
Adjunct professor, North Carolina State University
Policy Advisor, The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

Dr. Young was appointed to the Scientific Advisory Board of the Environmental Protection Agency in 2018.


“This is one small step for regulatory reform, one giant leap for scientific integrity and political transparency.

“Transparency and reproducibility are part of the very foundation of scientific progress. EPA should never rely on non-public scientific data when crafting rules, guidance documents, or when undertaking other agency actions. This same approach should be true for every administrative agency. When writing rules, regulators should only be allowed to consider scientific studies whose researchers make their data available for public scrutiny and whose findings can be replicated.”

H. Sterling Burnett
Senior Fellow, Environment & Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Environment & Climate News
[email protected]


“Administrator Pruitt is to be applauded for this move. Next to fall should be the Endangerment Finding for greenhouse gases. The ‘science’ behind the 2009 Endangerment Finding by the Obama administration were 100 percent based on the work of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. As the WikiLeaks email disclosures showed in Climategate, the science was not only secret, it was fake and in some instances fraudulent.”

Fred Palmer
Senior Fellow, Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The end of ‘secret science’ at EPA is very big news and you know it’s an important step by the volume and hysteria of Administrator Pruitt’s critics. The critics of this move understand that the Endangerment Finding and other over-reaching regulations are based on black box ‘secret science’ that cannot stand up to prudent review.

“Requiring all underlying data to be made public before a study can be used to set policy is just common sense. My junior high algebra teacher made me show my work to get credit for a test answer. If it’s good enough for junior high, we should hold EPA to at least that level of transparency.

“The ginned up attack on Scott Pruitt is intended to stop him from exposing the bogus ideological foundation of EPA regulation. But, it is not working. Kudos to Administrator Pruitt, his team at EPA, and the Trump administration.”

Bette Grande
Research Fellow, Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

Ms. Grande represented the 41st District in the North Dakota Legislature from 1996 to 2014.


“Much to Administrator Scott Pruitt’s credit, the EPA has decided to end the use of ‘secret science’ as a basis for regulatory actions that have damaged our economy, put companies out of business, and harmed consumers.

“During the Obama administration, the EPA wantonly destroyed 94 percent of the market value of the coal industry, killed thousands of coal mining jobs, and wreaked havoc on coal mining families and communities — all  based on data the EPA and its taxpayer-funded university researchers have been hiding from the public and Congress for more than 20 years.

“Administrator Pruitt’s decision to bring science back into the sunlight spells the end of ‘secret science,’ which has fueled overregulation by the EPA for years. Second only to President Trump himself, Administrator Pruitt is the most valuable public servant America has.”

Steve Milloy
Senior Policy Fellow, E&E Legal
Policy Advisor, The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

Mr. Milloy is the author of Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA (2016).