This story was originally published by Slate and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
The Trump administration appears to be entering an alarming new stage of its attack on environmental protection. For the past two-plus years, it has used a retail approach, targeting Obama-era environmental rules one by one, trying to suspend compliance deadlines. This strategy has been met with limited success — more than 90 percent of the administration’s deregulatory efforts are being defeated in court, mostly due to sloppy agency actions.
But the Environmental Protection Agency has recently decided it will undertake a new approach in its effort to launch a wholesale attack on environmental regulation: It will change the way it collects and processes data, to provide better justification to dismantle the analytical foundation of its rules. These moves fly in the face of established economics and health sciences, and are inconsistent with the practices of administrations of both parties over four decades. The consequences for the environment and public health could be disastrous. But even as this approach might be more deliberate, these actions are... Read more