Quote of the Week – no more ‘currying favor’ at the EPA

We covered the announcement of EPA administrator Scott Pruitt yanking away the conflict of interest issue that has plagued EPA Science Advisory Boards; members of those boards also received EPA grants.

“Process matters,” Pruitt said during the announcement on Tuesday at EPA headquarters. “As we engage in rule making… we also need to respect the record, the science, that we are relying on to make decisions.”

He went on to add that no scientific adviser should appear to have a conflict of interest with the agency.

“They will have to choose: either the grant, or service, but not both,” Pruitt said.

Predictably, leftist trough feeders are outraged. The execrable Think Progress accuses Pruitt of “manufacturing reality”.

But there’s also support from Dr. Lucas Bergkamp, who is an environmental scientist:

and some common sense from Dr. Judith Curry:

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65 thoughts on “Quote of the Week – no more ‘currying favor’ at the EPA

  1. Pruitt has done more to reform his agency in his short time than any other director. He came into the position with his punch list and he is moving fast. Three cheers!

  2. Is having people who are receiving funding from EPA on EPA advisory boards more like incest or prostitution?

      • they all have each other’s bluetooth buttplug pwd on speed dial.
        and now you know what’s up with pelosi and hillary.

    • Technically, prostitutes supply a service as part of the world’s oldest profession; or so I’m told.

      Incest and Oedipus complexes are family relations gone wrong and usually without earnings.

      Personally, I am still reminded of blood sucking parasites similar to disease spreading arthropods and Culicidae. They care only for themselves and their progeny, all destined to be parasitic.

      • Technically,
        marketing/sales is the world’s oldest profession;
        only after the goods are viewed & approved of & a deal is struck does the prostitute supply the service.

      • “1saveenergy November 1, 2017 at 1:59 pm
        Technically,
        marketing/sales is the world’s oldest profession;
        only after the goods are viewed & approved of & a deal is struck does the prostitute supply the service.”

        So, according to your version; all of those johns caught in stings “viewed and approved” the goods before a deal is struck?

        Not a chance. Those cases would get tossed out as entrapment.

        Then there are the millionaire/billionaire parties; e.g. as discussed on audio by Mark Steyn this past week. These parties thrown by the ultra-rich, the randy princes order blondes by groups from escort services. Then the escort services have to swap groups in order to let the ladies some rest.

      • 1saveenergy

        It seems we have similar thoughts on ‘the oldest profession’. However I would go further and suggest sales is the single oldest profession as the first incidence of prostitution is likely to have been opportunistic rather than with a planned marketing campaign.

      • “……….all destined to be parasitic.”

        “Parasitoidal” could be the more appropriate word, don’t you reckon?

        From Wikipedia:
        “A parasitoid is an organism that spends a significant portion of its life history attached to or within a single host organism in a relationship where the host is ultimately killed. Parasitoidy is one of six major evolutionary strategies within parasitism, distinguished by the fatal prognosis for the host. As such the strategy is close to predation.”

        The inhabitants of the District of Columbia swamp are rumored to be mostly parasitoidal creatures.

      • “ThomasJK November 2, 2017 at 10:09 am

        “……….all destined to be parasitic.”

        “Parasitoidal” could be the more appropriate word, don’t you reckon?

        From Wikipedia:
        “A parasitoid is an organism that spends a significant portion of its life history attached to or within a single host organism in a relationship where the host is ultimately killed. Parasitoidy is one of six major evolutionary strategies within parasitism, distinguished by the fatal prognosis for the host. As such the strategy is close to predation.”

        The inhabitants of the District of Columbia swamp are rumored to be mostly parasitoidal creatures.”

        Interesting, but beware of wiki. Finding “parasitoidal” definitions appears mostly centered upon wiki, which is odd.

        N.B.:
        CDC (Centers for Disease Control)
        Sorry, no results found for ‘Parasitoidal’. Try entering fewer or broader query terms
        “,

        USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)
        parasitoidal
        parasitism by the parasitoidal wasps Campolitis sonorensis and Toxoneuron

        Breaking the word down a bit into -al suffix added to parasitoid:
        -al adjective suffix
        Definition of -al
        :of, relating to, or characterized by e.g. (·directional ·fictional)

        While parasitoid, courtesy of Merriam-Webster:
        Definition of parasitoid – noun | par·a·sit·oid | \ ˈper-ə-sə-ˌtȯid , -ˌsī- , ˈpa-rə- \
        :an insect and especially a wasp that completes its larval development within the body of another insect eventually killing it and is free-living as an adult

        Parasitoid is narrowly defined as a particular group or method of parasitism.

        Again from Merriam-Webster:
        Parasite – noun | par·a·site | \ ˈper-ə-ˌsīt , ˈpa-rə- \
        Definition of parasite
        1 :a person who exploits the hospitality of the rich and earns welcome by flattery ·sought to rid the palace of the parasites of his prosperity

        2 :an organism living in, with, or on another organism in parasitism ·an intestinal parasite of humans
        ·a parasite that causes malaria

        3 :something that resembles a biological parasite in dependence on something else for existence or support without making a useful or adequate return

        “Merriam Webster – parasitic
        adjective | par·a·sit·ic | \ ˌper-ə-ˈsi-tik , ˌpa-rə- \
        variants: or less commonly parasitical play \ˌper-ə-ˈsi-ti-kəl, ˌpa-rə-\
        Definition of parasitic
        1 :of, relating to, or being a parasite: such as a (1) :living on another organism in parasitism ·Some caterpillars even sport white spots that resemble the eggs of the parasitic wasps that prey upon caterpillars

        (2) :caused by or resulting from the effects of parasites ·a parasitic disease/infection

        (3) of a bird :laying eggs in the nest of another bird ·The cowbird and the cuckoo are parasitic birds.
        – – b :exploiting the hospitality of others :depending on another or others for existence or support without making a useful or adequate return ·… manipulated and glorified by self-serving, parasitic northern bureaucrats. —Edward Friedman

        I’ll stick with “parasitic as the correct word and usage”

  3. Hahaha – of course, Pruitt put in place an exception clause. If a scientist receives funding from the fossil fuel industry, no conflict of interest. They are able to sit on panels determining policy for the fossil fuel industry. What a hypocrite.

    • Chris

      If a scientist receives funding from the fossil fuel industry, no conflict of interest. They are able to sit on panels determining policy for the fossil fuel industry. What a hypocrite.

      But, if a “scientist” depends entirely on the “goodwill” of government bureaucrats for his laboratory funding, his time, his salary, his staff, his travel, his retirement, his publications, his computer lab, his programmers, and his future retirement … “he” is considered honest and morally corrupt (er, correct) only as long as he delivers the gospel and words and predictions the Obama-Bush-Clinton-Kerry-Mann-Hansen bureaucrats want from their billions of “research”.

      • The exact same moral corruption you are referring to would be just as likely in the fields of research on diabetes, cancer, air pollution, water pollution, agricultural research. Let’s not trust anyone whose income comes from government sponsored research, since they are all morally corrupt. What complete and utter rubbish.

      • Interesting that chris mentioned a number of fields of research which have seen MAJOR retractions of papers…

    • and if a person gets funding from the sierra club, nrdc or any other group they can be on the panel. Just cant be on the panel if you get EPA funding. whats wrong with that.

      • or from Greenpeace, WWF, Soros, UN, etc etc..

        …. wouldn’t you agree that they SHOULD NOT be allowed on the panels, griff.

      • Griff is right,
        anyone receiving (in the past, present or future) money, or any advantage, from the likes of Heartland should be subject to similar rules. Which in effect includes absolute everyone worthy to be included in those advisory board. Nobody qualify to belong.
        Meaning the whole bureaucracy and grants system should be dismantled.
        I am all in.

      • Did I miss something here? I thought Pruitt was cutting funding from EPA grants. I didn’t see anything about his cutting funding from private corporations or “Think Tanks.” Where was that part? Is the fossil fuel industry part of the government? How about Vegas gambling, is that part of the government? I just don’t follow the lack of logic here. I thought it was to eliminate having people on the advisory boards that were also receiving EPA grants. That doesn’t even change the attitude of the advisory boards. only the source of funding for those on it.

    • Poor little Chris.

      Fossil fuels BUILT this nation.

      You rely on them for EVERY facet of your puny life…

      … just as you rely on CO2 for EVERYTHING that you eat.

      GET OVER IT !!

      • and now we have a second industrial revolution under way, with post-fossil resources.

        Except parts of the US are getting left behind…

      • 2nd industrial revolution griff? You mean the one where power is twice as expensive and unreliable (renewables)? Or you mean fracking where nat gas is powering a new investment due to lower power costs, enhancing our energy independence and btw, lowering our co2 emissions?

      • “Except parts of the US are getting left behind…”

        You seem to have GAS, griff.

        US is surging ahead, poor little UK is heading for disaster because of its moronic energy decisions.

        I hope your little inner city doesn’t get too cold in winter , griff. :-)

      • Griff,

        Except parts of the US are getting left behind…

        Wow. Left behind. So does that mean we no longer need to fund the rest of the world in evolving to “renewable power”, and get them to start funding us? That is so awesome!
        As long as we can do with the funds whatever we want… you know, like the Indians and Chinese do. Maybe build nuclear, clean coal, you know. Something useful. Something that doesn’t clutter the horizon. Something that doesn’t kill birds by the hundreds of thousands. Something that is neither eyesore, water torture – or just plain useless.
        One of your best inputs here, Griff! Finally! I knew you could do it, even if by mistake. Blind squirrel and all that.

    • “Chris: …of course, Pruitt put in place an exception clause. If a scientist receives funding from the fossil fuel industry, no conflict of interest. They are able to sit on panels determining policy for the fossil fuel industry. What a hypocrite.”

      Here is a link to the written announcement: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-10/documents/final_draft_fac_directive-10.31.2017.pdf

      The announcement contains no exception that Chris refers to. Here is a link to the Federal Advisory Committee Act on the EPA website that governs these committees: https://www.epa.gov/faca

      If you follow the link to FACA Essentials, you will find a good summary of what these committees are supposed to do. One of the requirements of the FACA is that committees must be “fairly balanced” in the points of view represented. So yes, people in the fossil fuel industry would be eligible for representation on a committee. Without them, the committees would not be “fairly balanced.”

      If these committees are advising the EPA, among other things, about what research to fund, having members who receive funding from the EPA is a direct conflict of interest. Disclosure of such conflicts does help in preventing abuse, but given how little public attention is paid to these committees, I would prefer a better standard that no funding conflicts are to be allowed.

    • DeLoss, you have to realise that the very concept of “fairly balanced” is a complete anathema to the far-left AGW suckophants.

      • Absolutely not. They insist on a fair balance of opinion between lesbian, trans, gay, bis, blacks, trotskist, sierra club and greenpeace. And it is only fair to exclude deplorables.

    • If receiving funding from the fossil fuel industry corrupts, how does receiving funding from the government not corrupt? I believe the government research budget has been $3b-$4b per year compared to about $20 million over a couple of decades from evil industry. Follow the money.

    • Scientists who receive funding from activists and other organizations can sit on panels as well. You just can’t receive EPA grants and sit on panels. Nothing hyprocritical at all. You just don’t understand what you’re talking about.

    • The EPA doesn’t determine policy for the fossil fuel industry.
      Your attempts to distract are lamer than usual.

      • I just wonder how you can write “The EPA doesn’t determine policy for the fossil fuel industry.” …
        Do you mean EPA has no right to determine policy for the fossil fuel industry? Maybe so, but it did nonetheless.

    • He may in the past have received a grant, just like all the consensual Team members receive grants from the fossil fuel industry. Anthony covered the fossil fuel grant picture for alarumists in a post a few years ago when this fake news regarding skeptics was having a big run. Heck, the entire Rockefeller family has been funded by fossil fuels for four generations! They invented fossil fuel development.

      Here is a test of how you can tell if skeptics are funded by fossil fuel interests or if it really matters.

      1)There are only 3% of scientists. Almost all the grants of all kinds even from fossil fuel interests go to the consensus crowd whom I’m frequently told are all PhD peer reviewed scientists . How is it possible for a ragtag crowd of skeptics who don’t qualify for the hundreds of billions from governments, big foundations, the support of all the universities and all the major science institutes and are blocked by gatekeepers from publishing. And 90% of the MSM are alarumist cheerleaders and “fact” checkers for the thermal group and useful idiots have even taken potshots at this insignificant minority. There is an old joke that you will get:
      “There we were, two against a hundred. Boy did we ever kick the Bezhayziz out of those two guys!”

      2) Why would an overwhelming consensus be so exercised by such a puny gnat. If you gave hundreds of millions to a beleaguered small mob of blithering idjits who deny the moon landing, is that really in your opinion an existential threat to the 100,000 PhD atmospheric synod of CO2, Cowfarts and laughing gas warriors? 200 governments? Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, Stanford, U of Cali, 50,000 other compliant universities? No! With or without the cash, such woebegone misfits would be drooling off in all directions. Do they need to be tortured until, like the data before them, they give up and go with the flow? Do they need to be tried for crimes against humanity when a show of hands would vanquish them. Didn’t this tiny vermin clique have to steal the election of the president from the enlightened Saviors of science and a whole planet and its people?

      3) Here’s what the fuss is all about. Like in the former USSR, the small scatter of dissidents (actually Cook could have Cooked a 99% consensus because most are useful idjits) similarly exercised the leadership because these very intelligent few were able to clearly see the masquerade for what it really was and the worry was that their bravery and brains alone could inspire and would be (were!) enough to bring such a pathetic farce down. One with Nature is majority to borrow from an old saw. Oh they too had stern solutions to dissidence and they had compelling talking points and all the trappings of the propagandist at their disposal.

      Chris, this construct has already failed. Don’t be the last to make a timely exit. Oh, BTW I studied paleoclimatology as geology student some time ago (indeed) – MSc degree so I’m not the shadow of a Dr. M. Mann, say, and Ieft it went on to get another degree in engineering so no need to heed.

    • So Chris sees ethical problem with the arrangement quite clearly, but he sees a squirrel over THERE- fossil fuel grant to bd member (BTW don’t trust you there) = unethical you betcha. Then he turns and defends it for other bds. Let me help you here, C- it’s unethical. We’ll stop the actual unethical practice that’s known (sop for your prog activist friends) and get to your imagined one next.

    • Chris, see the big picture …

      If you receive funding from GOVERNMENT – No advisory boards or committees.

      If you receive revenue from fossil fuel related entity you are not excluded.

      If you receive revenue from any other number of “pre-determined outcome agenda driven” groups (Soros, WWF, Sierra Club, NRDC, etc.) you are not excluded.

      Expand you view of how things are structured to see the bigger picture.

      Where is the hypocrisy? (outside of your stated view of course?)

      • There’s not any hypocrisy. OTOH …. a guy receiving funds from the oil company should not be serving on an advisory board for the said oil company. …. as he would likely advise that the oil company give him more money. ….. just like the green parasites of the pre-Pruit EPA did.

        This is the best thing I’ve heard yet!

    • Chris,

      so lets condemn commercial scientific funding despite it producing food, plastics, petrol and diesel, coal, nuclear energy, wind turbines, solar panels, clothing, food, medicines, homes, defence; indeed, clean water and air, amongst many others.

      Without commercial funding you would still be wearing skins and living in a cave. And if you relied solely on ‘government’ science, you might have managed a pair of shoes as well, but I doubt it as they would still be arguing over which foot to call left and which to call right.

  4. If Donald Trump does nothing else except substantially destroy the horrible eco-colonialism practiced by the liberal-left global elite who have pilfered astronomic sums from the poor and the public purse with their climate alarm lies, then he will have done humanity an immense good service.
    Good for him. Meanwhile in the U.K. the BBC has been in near hysterical meltdown this week with a mixture of CO2 record level tirades, anti-Trump guilt by association smears and male impropriety against women news. It is a wonder they haven’t died from apoplexy.

    • “It is a wonder they (BBC) haven’t died from apoplexy”.

      I wish.

      I have long given up watching any programmes made by the Biased Broadcasting Corporation – left-wing propaganda, socialist social-engineering and climate alarmism is overwhelmingly inserted into everything the BBC do.

      The BBC is institutionally left wing Marxist-socialist and filled from top to bottom with champagne-socialists. To admit to being a Conservative or even worse a UKIP supporter, climate sceptic or heaven forbid in favour of Brexit would ensure you could never get a job working at the BBC.

      • Should have added, the BBC operate a diversity policy which ensures that every ethnicity, sexual orientation etc is fully represented – with one significant set of exceptions that is anyone who holds the views I mentioned above.

        Of course the metrosexual inclination of the BBC isn’t at all happy with traditional family units (husband wife and children) or Christianity but it does spend a lot of time on promoting Islam.

    • That’s what blows my mind OE. Why would they promote a religion that wants to kill them. Do they have a death wish?

    • The ongoing media obsession with dirty old men is a wonder to behold. Well I suppose it’s one way of deflecting attention from their blatant exposure as propagandists.

  5. When government is suppose to be the only entity that can fund “objective” research we run into this problem of conflict of interest. Especially when an agency depends on scientific panels for advice. Once upon a time agencies deliberately put stakeholder funded scientists on such panels, now it is considered heresy. Of course we do have people funded by such groups as the MacArthur Foundation, Ford, Pew, etc. They are even less objective in who they fund than the federal government. Having run both incoming and outgoing grants programs I learned a lot about bias and political pressure. Our staff would submit proposal in supposedly competitive RFP processes to the federal government, be the highest ranked proposals by far, yet not get funded. Why? because we often questioned what that agency was doing. Meanwhile when we didn’t fund various scientists who failed to make even the top ten in our process I would even get calls at home not just asking their project be funded but threatening political harm. All gets worse when the total number of experts in a given field can be counted on two hands and two feet, and know each other and each others spouses and children.

  6. I love a good spittle-flecked greenie tantrum. The worm eventually turns, and all is well with the universe.

  7. I must say, as someone who has interacted with the EPA on numerous issues over decades (both for and against projects), the EPA under Obama was in pretty rough shape. The main problem I observed was a lack of adult supervision – many in the EPA felt the rules were whatever they said they were, and that any tactic was fine as long as it yielded the appropriate result.

    Not to get into details, but I personally observed the sue and settle practice abused by the agency.

    I also observed something we called “studies for buddies”. The agency would fund studies by friendly environmental groups, mainly as a method of providing them with income. Usually the studies were poorly conducted, and the results questionable. No matter – the point wasn’t the science, it was the funding. Those groups, in turn would do the agencies bidding – doing things the agency was not allowed to do like lobby the public and lawmakers.

    It sounds to me like Pruitt is starting to address this problem.

  8. Once science is primarily funded by the government, the temptation to push science into areas and results desired by the politicians becomes overwhelming. You then wind up with the current state of affairs, e.g., that of ‘Climate Science’. It has become nothing but a political football. Hell, even papers in fields totally unrelated to climate must, in order to get funded, toe the line and include to obligatory tie to CAGW.

  9. It is corruption. Plain and simple. Chris and Griff know it and by their support they declare that they are corrupt also. unfortunate but it seems to be very widespread.

    • I don’t think that characterisation of those entities as ‘corrupt’ is particularly useful or accurate. They appear to fit the role of zealous religious acolyte more. I seriously doubt either is receiving payment for whining on wuwt. I mean, would you pay for the service provided by intellectual plankton such as these – even were it generally aligned with your agenda?

      I’m not a psych but the behavioural mode looks much mote like a martyrdom thing to me. I’m fairly convinced that Griff would miss the abuse if xe left.

    • john harmsworth

      Are you suggesting that Griff can assemble a coherent thought that doesn’t come straight from the Guardian?

      He even plagiarised at least one passage that I know of for certain.

  10. “We covered the announcement of EPA administrator Scott Pruitt yanking away the conflict of interest issue that has plagued EPA Science Advisory Boards; members of those boards also received EPA grants.”

    OUCH! That’s gonna leave a mark!

  11. If there are no fossil fuels for powering productive economic endeavors then there will be none of the financial subsidies that are necessarily for creating the delusion that so-called “renewables” are viable and self-sustaining sources for energy.

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