The EPA suppresses dissent and opinion, and apparently decides issues in advance of public comment

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The EPA apparently doesn’t care about any negative comment of their GHG Endangerment findings, even internally, so the exercise in Democracy we did yesterday apparently was for naught.

The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision… I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.”

– Internal EPA email, March 17th, 2009

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has caught EPA administration red-handed in concealment of internal dissent as well as apparently proceeding with plans in advance.

From this PDF circulated today by CEI, here are the points:

EI is submitting a set of four EPA emails, dated March 12-17, 2009, which indicate that a significant internal critique of EPA’s position on Endangerment was essentially put under wraps and concealed. The study was barred from being circulated within EPA, it was never disclosed to the public, and it was not placed in the docket of this proceeding. The emails further show that the study was treated in this manner not because of any problem with its quality, but for political reasons.

CEI hereby requests that EPA make this study public, place it into the docket, and either extend or reopen the comment period to allow public response to this new study. We also request that EPA publicly declare that it will engage in no reprisals against the author of the study, who has worked at EPA for over 35 years.

The emails, attached hereto, consist of the following:

1) a March 12 email from Al McGartland, Office Director of EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE), to Alan Carlin, Senior Operations Research Analyst at NCEE, forbidding him from speaking to anyone outside NCEE on endangerment issues;

2) a March 16 email from Mr. Carlin to another NCEE economist, with a cc to Mr. McGartland and two other NCEE staffers, requesting that his study be forwarded to EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, which directs EPA’s climate change program. The email notes the quantity of peer-reviewed references in the study, and defends its inclusion of new research as well. It states Mr. Carlin’s view that “the critical attribute of good science is its correspondence to observable data rather than where it appears in

the technical literature.” It goes on to point out that the new studies “explain much of the observational data that have been collected which cannot be explained by the IPCC models.” (Emphases added);

3) a March 17 email from Mr. McGartland to Mr. Carlin, stating that he will not forward Mr. Carlin’s study. “The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision… I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.” (Emphasis added);

4) a second March 17 email from Mr. McGartland to Mr. Carlin, dated eight minutes later, stating “ I don’t want you to spend any additional EPA time on climate change.”

Mr. McGartland’s emails demonstrate that he was rejecting Mr. Carlin’s study because its conclusions ran counter to EPA’s proposed position. This raises several major issues.

A. Incompleteness of the Rulemaking Record: The end result of withholding Mr. Carlin’s study was to taint the Endangerment Proceeding by denying the public access to important agency information. Court rulings have made it abundantly clear that a rulemaking record should include both “the evidence relied upon [by the agency] and the evidence discarded.” Ethyl Corp. v. EPA, 541 F.2d 1, 36 (D.C. Cir. 1976), cert. denied, 426 U.S. 941 (1976).

B. Prejudgment of the Outcome of the Endangerment Proceeding: The emails also suggest that EPA has prejudged the outcome of this proceeding, to the point where it arguably cannot be trusted to fairly evaluate the record before it. Courts have recognized “the danger that an agency, having reached a particular result, may become so committed to that result as to resist engaging in any genuine reconsideration of the issues.” Food Marketing Institute v. ICC, 587 F.2d 1285, 1290 (D.C. Cir. 1978).

C. Violations of EPA’s Commitment to Transparency and Scientific Honesty: Finally, the emails suggest that EPA’s extensive pronouncements about transparency and scientific honesty may just be rhetoric. Shortly before assuming office, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson declared: “As Administrator, I will ensure EPA’s efforts to address the environmental crises of today are rooted in three fundamental values: science-based policies and programs, adherence to the rule of law, and overwhelming transparency.” Jan. 23, 2009, link. See also Administrator Jackson’s April 23 Memo to EPA Employees, “Transparency in EPA’s Operations”. These follow the President’s own January 21 memo to agency heads on “Transparency and Open Government”. And in an April 27 speech to the National Academy of Sciences, the President declared that, “under my administration, the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over.”

Because of ideology, however, it was this back seat to which Mr. Carlin’s study was relegated; more precisely, it was booted out of the car entirely.

For these reasons, we submit that EPA should immediately make Mr. Carlin’s study public by entering it into the Endangerment docket, and that it should either extend or reopen the comment period in this proceeding to allow public responses to that study. It should do so, moreover, while publicly pledging that Mr. Carlin will suffer no adverse repercussions from agency personnel. Mr. Carlin is guilty of no wrongdoing, but the tenor of the emails described above suggests he may well have reason to fear reprisals.

Read the EPA internal emails, including photographs of the originals here.

Call your congressional representative. This is legally wrong and makes a mockery of the public comment process.

Tell them here: 202-224-3121.

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Jack Green

These people are dishonest and should be fired. This is an outrage. We are fast becoming an Iranian regime.

WOW, shocked I tell you, just shocked.
When the government starts lying to you about the basic premise for massive new taxes, what type of a government do you have?
You expected to find truth? Science is going to be materially damaged in the eyes of the public because of this hoax.

Methow Ken

This is BEYOND outrageous !!
I am calling my Congresswoman RIGHT NOW !!
Come on, people:
Let’s light up the Congressional switchboard:
If this behavior by a (theoretically) objective agency of the Federal Government isn’t criminal, it should be.

Jimmy Haigh

Hmmm. A bit of a can of worms this one. I can see colours (sorry – colors) being nailed to the mast in the e-mail from McGartland to Carlin on 17th March in the statement that: “You may have heard that our budget was cut by 66%.”
Welcome to the real world!

MattN

Raise your hand if you’re surprised at this….

Adam from Kansas

So ‘We the People’ doesn’t even matter if it gets in the way of the green agenda? What kind of government is that.
In other notes, the greenhouse effect diagrams need a good overhaul
http://www.iceagenow.com/If_the_canary_is_still_singing_we_are_okay.htm
CO2 is heavier than air according to old mine tours and thus the gas would be the most dense at sea level, plus as air gets thinner the higher you go, that means less CO2, there’s no ‘wall’ of CO2 trapping heat high up in the atmosphere like some GHG chart implies.

hareynolds

I would sincerely like to contact my Congressman (Culbertson, R-Texas) and Senators (Hutchinson and Cornyn, both R-Texas) but (a) I am sure that they already know about this and are on the correct side of the fence, and (b) in any case, they are essentially powerless in the face of the fillibuster-proof majorities loyal to Ms. Pelosi and Senator Reid.
I agree that we are indeed turning ourselves into a Banana Republic, but as in all democracies gone bad (remember the Weimar Republic) a majority has to VOTE FOR mindless oppression. Unfortunately, we get exactly the government that we deserve; heck, the government that some of our deluded fellow citizens have actually dreamed about.
Perhaps the real culprits in this drama, e.g. the voters of Massachusetts, California, New York, and Nevada, just to name a few, should say a few mea culpas and write THEIR members of Congress.

Evan Jones

Raise your hand if you’re surprised at this….
Yes, I am surprised . . . that this came to light.
Sounds as if there was a “canary” at the EPA. The early bird uncovers the can of worms.

wws

hope n’ change, people. Hope ‘n change.

DaveE

Nothing new here for the EPA!
I hesitate to bring this up, but foregone conclusions is not exactly uncharted territory for the EPA.
In their report on ETS, (second hand smoke), they twisted the rules to get the answer they wanted. (I am not going to debate whether or not it is even dangerous or not.)
1) They used a form of analysis called a ‘meta-study’ (a collection of studies to enlarge the sample size.)
2) they ‘cherry-picked’ the studies to include.
Even after this they couldn’t get the required result, so…
3) they reduced the CI to 90%
Even so they couldn’t get the figures they really wanted, so…
4) they declared an RR of 1.15 @ 90% as a class 1 carcinogen!
5) their ruling was thrown out by the US supreme court.
6) They appealed and won, not on the grounds the judge had indicted them but on the grounds that the courts had no jurisdiction.
As I said, I’m not going to debate the rights & wrongs of ETS/SHS & even if you are of the view that it is harmful. does that justify falsifying the data?
That is the kind of organisation you are dealing with!
DaveE.

Steven Hill

Obama better look closly at Iran, Washington may be next…….

DaveE

Sorry, falsifying RESULTS, not data
DaveE.

Adam from Kansas

Um, what’s the difference between these two images that should be the same?
This image on the TAO info front page looks to be like El Nino trying to putter along.
http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/cgi-tao/cover.cgi?P1=/tao/jsdisplay/plots/gif/sst_wind_anom_5day_ps32.gif&P2=900&P3=456&script=jsdisplay/scripts/biggif_startup.csh
Meanwhile, this image which is supposedly the same other than the fact it compares with the previous year shows the supposed El Nino being very anemic in forming and isn’t getting much of anywhere
http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/jsdisplay/plots/gif/sst_sst_anom_5day_comp.gif
Then is what seems to be even more bad news for NOAA pushing AGW the 20 degree C-depth anomalies seem to be almost the same, if not a little cooler in some places than in 2008
http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/jsdisplay/plots/gif/iso20_iso20_anom_5day_comp.gif
Any reason the anomaly comparison image is different from the front page image? I don’t get it, are they trying to hide something?

keith

sounds like they are trying to muzzle their scientist from speaking on AGW.

stumpy

does this suprise anyone? the whole issue is a political one, no serious scientist would ever consider c02 as a pollutant!

TomLama

Why is anyone shocked about dishonesty in the AGW debate? This scam has been a fraud since its inception. What we are witnessing is a slow motion rape of our sensibilities, science, and industry. We are nothing more than “denialists” deserving of scorn, ridicule, imprisonment, or worse.
The science be damned, the debate is over, the Ministry of Truth has spoken.
Get used to it.

If I was an American I would be realy mad at this one. Taxation without Representation. Wasn’t that what started your war for independance?
On a funny note: I was in DC a couple of years back and saw a licence plate that said “Taxation without Representation”. Didn’t give any other context. As a non American, I didn’t immediatly see this as the cause for revolution, but as a State Motto (as in “Maryland: The State with Taxation without Representation).

I’m so pissed now. Thanks for the article, I did a post and linked to it here.
I’ve put up a post I’m not too sure people understand. It demonstrates the problems with calibration of proxy data for hockey sticks and shows how temps will always be unprecedented.
http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/06/23/histori-hockey-stick-pt-2/
Michael Mann then admitted on RC to knowing he could pull any signal he wanted out of proxy data with his method.
It’s all the same thing, advocates calling citizens advocates and offering solutions which also result in the same thing. Taking our money. I’m becoming a denier.

David Ermer

You can contact you congress weasel about this, but remember this isn’t their fault.
What you need to do is talk to the people that keep electing these _______s. This is the fault of all of your neighbors, family, friends etc. Problems with our government won’t get fixed until the electorate starts acting in a responsible manner.

Aaron

I am profoundly discouraged by this development. Wondering if some reporter or news organization hungry for bureaucratic blood will pick this up and run. I do hope so.

Philipe

I don’t think it’s very useful to send comments to site like EPA. They have a political agenda anyway. They don’t care about science or facts. As a skeptic i think the most usefull is to advertise sites like yours. As more and more people will know the skeptic cause, i am sure we will win in the end.

Ben

I wonder what Hansen will say now that irrefutable proof has been presented that the Obama administration is actively muzzling its scientists, rather than his much-preached “muzzling”? A request to have your work reviewed is a good leap below being banned from speaking.
Contacting the EPA and Congress apparently does nothing. I am going to skip straight to contacting the media and trying to build a public outcry.

imapopulist

Now that this has seen the light, I’ll bet the EPA Administration will go on the offensive and attack Mr. Carlin’s credibility and assassinate his character. Just wait and see the “horrible offenses” that he supposedly committed and the “shoddy work” he performed (this usually happens in spite of a history of good performance appraisals). If necessary the media will gladly share any accusations to discredit this individual. I hope not, but if it does happen it will be an absolute shame. Either way, I’ll bet someone at EPA has already crafted these “talking points” as well, just in case they need to use them.

CAS

Does this replace Hansen now as the “suppressed scientist”???

Steve (Paris)

Carlin’s website
http://carlineconomics.googlepages.com/
He has serious credentials

gt

Not sure about the timing of the issue though. It seems that the email dialogues between the 2 parties happened 3 months ago. Why do they disclose it now, one day after EPA closed the public commentary?

Sean

Spread the link above, news sites like hits, and will continue to write about anything that brings them traffic

PaulH

If the EPA had their facts correct, they might be forced to arrive at the opposite conclusion from where their biases led them in the first place.
Fire. Them. All.

Steve (Paris)

After a little speed reading my guess is that Carlin poured cold water on the economics of cap n’ trade. I’d hazard the guess that he has an open mind on AGW; likes the science but needs to keep his job.
His views will be played down coz he’s not a scientist but primarily an economist.

David Segesta

At the risk of sounding redundant, let me say this again: Our government is run by criminals. Once you accept that everything else falls in place.

Leon Brozyna

Obama’s EPA screws the whole country. Meanwhile, Drudge is more concerned with reporting that SC Governor Sanford cheated on his wife. If Drudge can’t get it right, what of the rest of the media?

John F. Hultquist

“. . . and that would be a very negative impact on our office.”
This shows a TRI-polar nature in our society. The statement is quite correct, I suspect, for a portion of folks want to believe in their new government and will consider dissension within the EPA as surprising and negative. Another portion believes the end justifies the means and so will not be turned aside by this inconvenience. The third group – colour (color) us skeptical – already have such a negative view of the government on this issue that it is not possible for this to increase our negativness.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) needs to notify every news organization in the Nation and keep them informed. My congressional representatives are all sure of their position on such things and will not be persuaded by a few more e-mails. A National kerfuffle about this might cause some of them some embarrassment if they were not to speak out about this failure of democratic processes.
The new administration is having its North Korean learning experience, and an Iranian moment – maybe this could be its CO2 moment. Hope so.

Myron Mesecke

The FCC does the same thing. Got caught being selective with the facts regarding interference caused by BPL, broadband over powerlines. Thank goodness for the American Radio Relay League (ham radio). Took them to court over it and the FCC was forced to release all the data. Not sure if the FCC has actually done that yet.

Antonio San

Next should we expect police enforcement seizing Climate realists’ blogs? After all this Climate Change business is becoming a state affair and usually states will use any means at their disposal to implement their policies.

DaveE

gt (13:59:53) :
Not sure about the timing of the issue though. It seems that the email dialogues between the 2 parties happened 3 months ago. Why do they disclose it now, one day after EPA closed the public commentary?
As the advert says, ‘simples’ he’s given them time to recant. That time is passed now!
DaveE.

Jack Hughes

Morning students.
This module is Group-Think 101.

geo

There must be some mistake. Everyone knows that only Republican administrations suppress inconvienent findings by career scientists, right? I confidently await the outrage and investigation by Congress.

papertiger

“I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.”
I think of another impact of ignoring public comments. How about we vote the bums out. Barbara Boxer is the key Senate voice for the climate scam lobby.
Vote Chuck Devore in 2010. That will be the loudest comment you can make on the climate scam in California. (http://www.chuckdevore.com/)
Send Boxer back home to Marin county.
Send the EPA a clear uniquivocal message of what you think.
It’s the only way to be sure.

hunter

wow.
We are so screwed.

Paul revere

welcome to the USSA!

AEGeneral

As with everything in this administration, the likely response will be, “This simply could not wait. The situation is so dire that we have to move forward as quickly as possible.”

“You may have heard that our budget was cut by 66%.” – McGartland PhD – EPA
Chart of EPA Funding Under Obama Administration
Gee I guess the EPA did not get the Stimulus Memo…
Yes I realize his department may have been cut back on, but with a doubling in budget one would expect his funding would remain intact a the very least.
So does this mean this is actually “Bush’s Third Term” ? 🙂

Hi all,
Anthony, I contacted EPA and received a very quick and (I think) fairly open response. Apparently CEI may have exaggerated hugely. EPA emailed this statement to me:
“This Administration and this EPA Administrator are fully committed to
openness, transparency and science-based decision making. These
principles were reflected throughout the development of the proposed
Endangerment finding, a process in which a broad array of voices were
heard and an inter agency review was conducted. In this instance,
certain opinions were expressed by an individual who is not a scientist
and was not part of the working group dealing with this issue.
Nevertheless, several of the opinions and ideas proposed by this
individual were submitted to those responsible for developing the
proposed endangerment finding. Additionally, his manager allowed his
general views on the subject of climate change to be heard and
considered inside and outside the EPA and presented at conferences and
at an agency seminar. The individual was also granted a request to join
a committee that organizes an ongoing climate seminar series, open to
both agency and outside experts, where he has been able to invite
speakers with a full range of views on climate science. The claims that
his opinions were not considered or studied are entirely false.”
– EPA Press Secretary Adora Andy

George Hebbard

When Enron conspired with the Vice President of the United States to develop a program of Carbon emission credits similar to their lucrative SO2 trading scheme, they did so in total disregard of an internal Enron study/report that cast doubt on the AGW effects of CO2.
Has anything changed?
Incidently, THAt VP was a Democrat named Al Gore.

Stephen Wilde

Sorry chaps but we are seeing the end of representative democracy throughout the western world.
The fact is that most voters are too busy getting on with their lives to make the effort required to second guesss the ‘establishment’.
Many years ago the ‘establishment’ realised that allowing a decline in intellectual rigour in the education system was entirely to it’s own advantage.
All that post World War 2 prosperity and freedom has rendered the average voter over confident and complacent about the preservation of the basic rules of a democratic system.
The irony is that the process is being driven by all those 60s radicals who were such a noisy nuisance 50 years ago.
No one ever guaranteed that the democratic experiment started by the UK 500 years ago and consolidated by the US Constitutuion would be a permanent phenomenon.
We are seeing the end game for good or ill.
Supra Governmental organisations such as the UN and the European Union are in the ascendant and will not be denied.
The future will be determined by the extent to which the emerging world including China and India is prepared to go along with it.
I suspect that the Orwellian vision of a world split into 3 major power blocs (possibly only 2) was not far off the mark.

Tamara

Of course, anyone who commented on the endangerment finding is now on a “list” somewhere. I’m probably on several. 😉

CPT. Charles

People, assume NOTHING! I just contacted my rep…House Minority Leader J. Boehner and gave the nice lady on the phone this piece. She actually called up the web page as we spoke.
I suggested that the links provided could provide the basis for a nice floor speech.
Will it do any good? Dunno, the vote is this Friday. Never the less, call anyway; the honest ones will listen, the crooks will probably either [A] hang up on you, or [B] give you a verbal ‘pat on the head’ and send you on your way.
At any rate, remember this BS when 2010 comes around.

don't tarp me bro

robert wood posted the link this morning
I referred to it 2 hours later. Glad to see it up as a new topic.
I don’t know how long it was before CEI found the e-mails. this is an old EPA issue but only recently uncovered.

KW

I do wonder…are the comments only for the sake of humoring people’s opinions?
I suppose it is nice and all…but it seems to be rather unneccesary and deceiving to think they would ever have any influence on the outcome of the policies made.