Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category

Public Statements

Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BUCSHON. Mr. Chairman, coal provides affordable domestic energy that supports millions of direct and indirect jobs. In my State of Indiana, 90 to 95 percent of all electrical power comes from coal. This keeps the costs of energy down, and it attracts millions of jobs to my State through our manufacturing industry.

This amendment would require that the Secretary or any other Federal official proposing a rule under this act publish with each rule the scientific studies the Secretary or other official relied on in developing the rule. This amendment is simple, and it will ensure that rules being issued are based on valid scientific studies that can be peer reviewed and replicated.

This amendment should be supported by everyone in this body who values sound science and who wants to ensure transparency with the rulemaking process. Federal agencies are promulgating more rules each year that control greater aspects of our personal and professional lives. Often these rules are pages long, instituted with little or no congressional input, and can have a devastating effect on job creation and our economy.

It is important for all Federal agencies to provide to the public the science and research behind proposed rules. It enables the scientific community and the general public to scrutinize how unelected Washington, D.C., bureaucrats are writing rules that increase costs for businesses and hurt our economy.

I have personally met with numerous government officials, such as those from the Mine Safety and Health Administration, and have discussed their rulemaking process. More than once, I have been told that proposed rules related to the coal industry are based on scientific studies and data--most recently, the underground coal mine dust regulation. I have asked to see these studies both in private meetings and in committee hearings, and I have never been provided with the scientific data that they say supports the new rule.

As a scientist and medical doctor, nobody understands the importance of good science more than I. Whether it is in medicine or whether it relates to public policy, good science makes for good policies. It's important for the Members of this body and the American people to be able to review the science and the studies that contribute to Federal rulemaking and to know that every rule and regulation is based upon sound science.

I urge my colleagues to support this amendment, requiring that we have a transparent rulemaking process that allows every concerned American to review the science behind a proposed rule.


Mr. BUCSHON. Mr. Chairman, my amendment addresses timing. Timing is important when it comes to this issue because the public needs to know and this Congress needs to know what the science is before the rule is finalized, not after the rule has already been essentially finalized and the public comment period has passed.

I had direct experience with this recently with the coal dust regulation. After the rule was essentially finalized, I asked for the data myself and was denied the data claiming that there would be HIPAA violations if they released scientific data on black lung disease, for example, that this coal dust regulation was based on, which is not true. I'm a physician, and there are scientific studies released every day in journals across America that show X-rays and other things of patients without names on them, and they don't violate HIPAA regulations.

I think the timing of this is important because if the rule is finalized, even if you see the science, it makes it very difficult to overturn the rule and the opportunity has passed for peer review and congressional review of the science behind a proposed rule.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.


Skip to top
Back to top