# Too Much Science in EPA?

Gold Member

## Main Question or Discussion Point

The Trump administration says the EPA was using too much science in Obama's Clean Water Act rules.
Longish Science magazine news article here.

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jedishrfu
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Just wow! Perhaps they should rely on golf more but wait that’s too much kinematics.

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bhobba
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This is getting a bit political, and of course we do not discuss politics here, which can naturally lead to heated debates that do not reflect our purpose. I am sure the OP did not mean to upset anyone - I suspect it was just something he thought people like us into science would likely find - well for want of a better words - interesting. That in no way endorses, criticizes etc what it is saying.

Thanks
Bill

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Staff Emeritus
2019 Award
The Trump administration says the EPA was using too much science in Obama's Clean Water Act rules.
I challenge you to find a sourced statement from someone in the Trump administration who uses the words "too much science" in an official capacity. If you can't, that means we're discussing spin. I'm happy to discuss spin, but I want to make sure that's what we are doing.

Staff Emeritus
2019 Award
Again, I don't see anyone from the Trump administration saying "too much science". Please point me to that. Not spin from an opponent of Trump, but what the administration said.

fresh_42
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Again, I don't see anyone from the Trump administration saying "too much science". Please point me to that. Not spin from an opponent of Trump, but what the administration said.
This is pure rhetoric, because there is rarely a taped and signed record. So the request for such a source is meaningless as it cannot be fulfilled. Unfortunately this does not imply it is wrong. And to ignore the obvious isn't helpful either.

Mark44
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This is pure rhetoric, because there is rarely a taped and signed record.
As far as I'm concerned, and probably the same for V50, it doesn't have to be taped and signed. A citation such as the one you gave before would satisfy me, but it has to be a quote from someone in the current administration, not in the previous administration.
fresh_42 said:
So the request for such a source is meaningless as it cannot be fulfilled. Unfortunately this does not imply it is wrong. And to ignore the obvious isn't helpful either.
No, the request isn't meaningless, as I've described above.

russ_watters
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It isn't the wording, but opinion, meaning and consequences are essentially the same...
In my opinion the words "[anyone] says..." need to be followed by a direct quote otherwise it is putting words in their mouth they didn't say.

fresh_42
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In my opinion the words "[anyone] says..." need to be followed by a direct quote otherwise it is putting words in their mouth they didn't say.
Well, I haven't used the word anyone, nor did I quote "too much science". But in the interview I did quote, there is someone from the Trump administration basically claiming $CO_2$ is irrelevant. This is not different from saying the earth is flat, and thus opposing current science. So I think it serves the cause. But I'm seemingly in a political minefield, and this is a place I don't want to be. I just thought I could provide a link to the debate (the first one) as something which is more than "spin". The fact that someone from the Obama administration said it, doesn't make it wrong. However, the link had been rejected, so I sought another one with an authentic similar statement.

Staff Emeritus
2019 Award
It isn't the wording, but opinion, meaning and consequences are essentially the same
So we're spinning. Fine.

The Constitutional authority for federal water projects was based on "navigable waters" and Congress' authority to regulate interstate commerce. (In the US system, the federal government can not do just anything it thinks is a good idea: there needs to be constitutional authority, otherwise it is a State matter) The Clean Water Act instead uses the terms "waters of the United States" and the EPA has ruled that because of their interpretation of "Connectivity Report" (more on that later), they should have jurisdiction over every puddle of water. In Rapanos v. United States the plurality opinion (there was no majority) was that this is overly broad. President Obama, by executive order, instructed the EPA to ignore Rapanos and to use the "every puddle" rule, and President Trump ordered them to obey Rapanos.

First comment: For everyone who thought it was swell that President Obama could "act when Congress wouldn't" by executive order, I hope you see what this is a really, really bad idea.

Second comment: If we're going to spin, I could say "Obama defies Supreme Court with EPA executive order" and it would be no less accurate than the present thread title (and arguably more).

Third comment: You do know that where the Connectivity Report declared "insufficient evidence" the EPA (under the Obama administration) overruled them. And somehow now that Trump is moving in the direction of the original report, he's anti-science.

I'm no fan of Trump's. But it does no good to misstate the record in an attempt to make him look bad.

fresh_42
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I do not want to get into internal American politics, as my news feed on this is on a too small basis to make sound statements. Obviously you reject even an interview on tv / internet, so I'm at the end of what I'm willing to listen to and read from these persons involved. I quit. It's not my disaster.

berkeman
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As the thread can't help delving into politics, it is closed for Moderation...

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Mark44
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... and will remain closed.