Q: What is scientific data? A: Whatever the Secretary of the Interior says it is.
At least that’ll be the case if congress passes HR 3824, now headed for the floor of the House. From the bill:
The term `best available scientific data’ means scientific data, regardless of source, that are available to the Secretary at the time of a decision or action for which such data are required by this Act and that the Secretary determines are the most accurate, reliable, and relevant for use in that decision or action.
Given that this administration defines “best available scientific data” as “that data that supports the president’s life-in-a-bubble view of reality,” as a political appointee the Secretary of the Interior is probably far more qualified to judge the scientific merit of a study than any scientist.