My View: The California Air resources Board is quickly becoming the most dangerous bureaucratic organization in California. This latest contempt for a public that questions the validity of their mission is way over the top. As the headline says, CARB is actively considering:
…a proposed regulation which would prohibit dishonest statements or submittals offered to the Board or to its staff.
Guess who gets to determine the “dishonesty” of a “statement or submittal” to CARB?
Of course, it’s OK if CARB makes a 340% error of their own while using false data to impose their will on the people of California. And of course it’s OK to publicly flaunt the ugly hubris of the CARB boss Mary Nichols rubbing her glee in the face of the citizens of California that voted for Prop 23. And of course it’s OK to simply demote a CARB “scientist” who lied about his PhD degree obtained from a UPS store rather than fire his fraudulent bureaucratic butt and then stage a cover up about it. But, when a citizen submits some data or opinion to CARB that they may later find questionable? Well, that’s a whole different matter.
What a bunch of self serving, holier than thou, public sector putzes!
Evidently CARB is contemplating a regulation that would enable penalties for what would be judged “dishonest statements or submittals” provided to it or “staff.” I think one can safely assume that it is aimed at curtailing challenges to CARB’s agenda that are based on alternative scientific information and interpretations.
Here’s a message from their listserver, you just have to read this to believe it:
Sent: Thursday, November 18, 2010 2:31 PM
Subject: arbcombo — Air Resources Board Workshop to Discuss Proposed Regulation Relating to False Statements Made to ARB or its Staff
ARB staff invites you to participate in a workshop on December 1, 2010 to discuss a proposed regulation which would prohibit dishonest statements or submittals offered to the Board or to its staff.
The workshop will provide the public with a chance to discuss the proposed regulation and to provide initial comment and feedback
We welcome your participation in this event.
For further information, please view the web page at http://www.arb.ca.gov/html/falsestatements/falsestatements.htm
which contains regularly updated information.
You are subscribed to one of the lists aggregated to make this particular ARB combination listserve broadcast. To UNSUBSCRIBE:
Please go to http://www.arb.ca.gov/listserv/listserv.php and enter your email address and click on the button “Display Email Lists.”
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The energy challenge facing California is real. Every Californian needs to take immediate action to reduce energy consumption. For a list of simple ways you can reduce demand and cut your energy costs, visit the Flex Your Power website at www.fypower.org ..
My source for this email (who shall remain nameless) writes:
An attorney-member of our network, (Roger E. Sowell), who is knowledgeable in environmental law and possesses a strong technical background, had the following initial reaction:
There is a Federal law at 18 USC 1001, that provides for a fine and up to 5 years imprisonment for knowingly and willfully providing false information of a material fact, among several other things, to any part of the Federal government. (I’m paraphrasing here). see e.g. http://vlex.com/vid/sec-statements-entries-generally-19190798
As just a sample of the issues, the key words are:
Each of those words has a specific meaning, usually hammered out in court cases. CARB cannot just arbitrarily choose definitions of such words, to suit their purpose. They must comply with the law and legal precedents. Where this gets very, very interesting is in the definition of “false.” We are dealing with scientific information, and science is fairly fuzzy. There are uncertainties in data measurements, to name merely one of several problem areas, as well as experimental design errors, choice of data analysis methods, interpretation of results, etc.
There are almost always factions of scientists that can be found to support almost any view – although a few viewpoints are appropriately discredited as crackpot. The fact is that new data is discovered or developed; new and better explanations for old data are developed; old theories discarded and new theories put forward, showing that science is not settled and that the definition of “false” is slippery when applied to a statement related to science.
There are other problems with a criminal falsity statute, such as applicability to various situations, and exemptions, also conformity with the Constitution and various standards embodied there. In addition, there are fraud claims that can arise if funding for scientific research led to false statements based upon the research findings.
Also, this could easily be turned around on CARB, by asserting that the “science” they relied on in many of their regulations was false information, knowingly and willfully presented.