Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Leader, gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill.
"There is a troubling trend occurring within the agencies that make up the executive branch where legislating and creating law has overtaken the original charter to execute the laws that Congress writes
"Perhaps the greatest example of this is its latest proposal to regulate activity in our community.
"Throughout the Central Valley we know all too well that the EPA wields too much power over how we live and how we do business. We know that exhaust and pollution from our big city neighbors like San Francisco and Los Angeles gets blown in and trapped because of our topography. But we also have that topography (and soil) to thank for the richest land to grow food in America.
"But an unfortunate result is that our air is notoriously worse than other parts of the country.
"Our community is a community of doers and problem solvers. When we are faced with an issue, we work together to do what it takes to solve it. That is why as we are faced with poor air quality, we are doing whatever we humanly can to clean the air up. We want to make sure our community is healthy and that our children are safe when they go out for recess or out to play with their friends.
"Not surprising, our community’s resilience and commitment has yielded positive results. Our air IS getting better. In fact, last year was the cleanest on record.
"Despite our progress --- despite the fact our air problems often originate elsewhere --- and despite pushing our technology to its current limit --- the EPA wants to issue even more stringent ozone regulations. The EPA says “science” demands they do more and more and more.
"But to echo Bakersfield Californian columnist, Lois Henry there is a very reasonable question: “What science?” The EPA is trying to impose more regulations based on conclusions that no one can check.
"That bears repeating. The EPA wants to harm businesses and hurt our economy with rules based on studies that they won’t let anyone else see. Not the public --- not independent scientists --- not even the United States Congress. If this sounds outrageous --- it’s because it is. It’s called “secret science.” and it’s wrong.
"If the EPA or most any agency is going to propose a rule --- the people have every right to know why. By hiding the science they use from public view and independent analysis --- the EPA is asking us to trust them.
"They are asking us to trust them even while they propose costly carbon and ozone rules on our economy and attempt to regulate puddles as if they were navigable waterways. They continue to grab for more power while the people see fewer benefits and more costs.
"This House wants government accountability. We want transparency --- just like this Administration continues to promise. And we want to stop unnecessary secrecy in government.
"That is why the House passed H.R. 1030, the Secret Science Reform Act which opens up the science behind regulations to the American public. Our community and country needs more accountability from its government, which can start by ending this type of unnecessary secrecy.