Analysis: Ending the 'secret science' at EPA is long overdue

Administrator Pruitt initiates overdue changes to bring transparency, integrity to rulemaking

Guest opinion by Paul Driessen

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has proposed to end the longstanding EPA practice of using secretive, often questionable, even deceptive science to support agency policy and regulatory initiatives. His proposed rules will ensure that any science underlying agency actions is transparent and publicly available for independent experts to examine and validate – or point out its flaws.

It also responds to growing concerns that extensive scientific research in environmental, medical and other arenas cannot be replicated by other scientists, or is compromised by cherry-picked data, poor research design, sloppy analysis or biased researchers. The situation has led to calls for increased sharing of data and methodologies, more independent peer review and other actions to weed out problems. There is no excuse for hiding data when studies are funded by taxpayers or used to justify regulations.

The situation has been especially acute at EPA. As Mr. Pruitt observed, “The ability to test, authenticate and reproduce scientific findings is vital for the integrity of the rule making process. Americans deserve to assess the legitimacy of the science underpinning EPA decisions that may impact their lives.”

That is particularly true for regulations that exact millions or billions in compliance costs, affect thousands of jobs, target industries and coal-fired electricity generators that regulators want to close down, or seek to replace all fossil fuel use with “renewable” energy. With the cumulative economic impact of federal regulations reaching nearly $2 trillion per year, research reform is absolutely essential.

We need regulation and pollution control – but it must be based on solid, replicable, honest science.

Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) has held hearings and championed multiple bills to address the problem. Several have been passed by the House of Representatives, only to languish in the Senate. With courts offering little or no help, Executive Branch action may be the only remaining solution.

Deceptive, faulty science on fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) was the bedrock of the Obama EPA’s war on coal. Particulates don’t just make you sick; they are directly related “to dying sooner than you should,” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson falsely told Congress. There is no level “at which premature mortality effects do not occur,” Mr. Obama’s next Administrator Gina McCarthy dishonestly testified.

At the same time they made these claims, they were presiding over illegal experiments on humans – including people with asthma, diabetes and heart disease – who were subjected to eight, 30 or even 60 times more particulates per volume, for up to two hours, than what EPA claimed are dangerous or lethal. None of them got sick, proving that EPA’s claims were false. The agency refused to correct its claims.

EPA took a similar stance on mercury – asserting that power plant emissions were causing dangerously high mercury levels in American children and pregnant women. In reality, US power plants account for just 0.5% of all the mercury in the air Americans breathe, and blood mercury counts for US women and children are well below even EPA’s excessively safe levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

How did EPA’s junk science, illegal experiments and heavy-handed regulations pass muster? For one thing, politics too often dictated the science. In addition, the agency paid more than $180 million over a 16-year period to institutions represented by members of its Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), which often rubberstamped studies and conclusions that failed integrity and transparency tests.

On global warming, EPA issued an Endangerment Finding, which claimed emissions of (plant-fertilizing) carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels threatened the health and welfare of American citizens.

It reached this conclusion by looking only at studies and computer models from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, while ignoring volumes of studies by independent scientists who found no such threat. EPA officials even told one of the agency’s own senior experts that his studies would not be shared with agency staff and he was to cease any further work on climate change, because his analyses “do not help the legal or policy case for this decision” that fossil fuel CO2 emissions endanger Americans.

EPA was also a principal force behind the “social cost of carbon” scheme that supposedly calculated how much CO2-driven climate change would cost the United States and how those costs would be reduced by slashing fossil fuel use. The alleged cost of damages began at an arbitrary $22 per ton of carbon dioxide released in 2010, then climbed to an equally random $30 per ton in 2013 and $40 per ton in 2016.

Incredibly, EPA modelers also claimed they can accurately forecast global temperatures, climate and weather, technological advances, economic development, living standards – and damages to global civilizations and ecosystems from US carbon dioxide emissions – for the next 300 years! Moreover, in the real world, the benefits of using carbon-based fuels and improving crop, forest and grassland growth via higher atmospheric CO2 levels outweigh hypothesized costs by at least 50-to-1 to as much as 500-to-1.

Deceptive, politicized, policy-driven “science” like this pervaded EPA regulatory actions for too many years. Reaction to Mr. Pruitt’s corrective actions show how poorly informed his critics can be.

  • The changes will force researchers to reveal personal or confidential information about participants in health studies. No they won’t. Such information is not needed and can easily be redacted.
  • EPA can keep us safe from harmful chemicals only if it takes full advantage of all available scientific research. Public health and safety depend on ensuring that research and data purportedly supporting it are made public and carefully reviewed by multiple experts, to ensure accuracy and integrity. EPA will take full advantage of all available research that passes these tests. Tax-funded studies should all be public!
  • The rules will exclude studies that rely on outside funding sources which limit access to underlying data. Those studies should be excluded. The funders need to revise their policies to ensure integrity.
  • The rules will exclude so much research that they will endanger public health. Not so. The only studies EPA will likely not see is what researchers know will not pass muster, and thus do not submit. The real danger comes from research that is based on shoddy data, algorithms, models and analyses that past researchers have been able to keep secret. That is precisely what the rules will ferret out and correct.
  • Pruitt has removed scientists who receive EPA funding from participating in advisory committees. As noted above, those scientists had received millions of dollars in exchange for supporting EPA analyses, initiatives and regulations. Pruitt wants input from experts whose views can be trusted.
  • Pruitt has criticized the peer review process. Too many peer reviews have been conducted by closed circles of associated scientists who rely on government grants and support regulatory decisions to maintain funding. Some refused to share data with experts who might critique their work – or worked to keep contrarian research out of scientific journals. The fact that some journals rarely require access to or review of underlying data further demonstrates why the peer review process also needs to be reformed.

Too many past EPA policies, policy-driven research and regulations have been employed to force the nation to abandon fossil fuels that still supply 80% of US and global energy – and switch to expensive, intermittent, unreliable wind and solar energy installations that will require unsustainable amounts of land and raw materials, while destroying wildlife habitats and slaughtering birds and bats by the millions.

Those actions also killed numerous jobs and left many communities impoverished. Simply put, the danger to Americans’ health and welfare, livelihoods and living standards is regulations imposed in response to secretive, sloppy, substandard science that has ill-served EPA and the nation.

Ethics charges against Mr. Pruitt should be evaluated with all this in mind – and while acknowledging that members of Congress who are railing against him never complained about Lisa Jackson or Gina McCarthy’s CASAC payment abuses, illegal experiments on human test subjects, false testimony about particulates, EPA-orchestrated sue-and-settle lawsuits that imposed billions in regulations while enriching environmentalist groups … and junk-science regulations that cost the United States incalculable billions of dollars, brought no environmental benefits, and impaired the welfare of millions of people.

Pruitt’s reforms are long overdue. Honest politicians, journalists and voters will applaud him and them. Other government agencies should initiate similar science and rulemaking reforms.


Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy and environmental policy.

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Ĺong overdue. Now if only our pm turnbull took note, but sadly ever since he was opposition leader during the rudd government, he turnbull has always mde green noises.
Mje

higley7

Pruitt is Red Pilling the EPA. Those who cannot take it have to leave.

The EPA should never be associated with the word “science” until it is completely reformed. “Far-Left” political agenda is the term that currently defines the EPA. The obvious proof of this is the term “secret science” being the operating directive.

The title of this article should include “secret junk science”.
Who in their right mind would want the general
public, much less outside the government scientists,
to be able to examine the infilling, adjustments
and the ever-growing gap between the
weather satellite / weather balloon temperature data
and the surface temperature data … not to mention
how far the model predictions / projections / simulations,
(or whatever you want to call the wrong wild guesses)
are from reality (even after the smarmy government
bureaucrats “fixed” the actuals to show more warming) ?
When you do junk science,
you need lots of secrets !
My climate blog:
http://www.elOnionBloggle.Blogspot.com

Latitude

Our “science” needs a complete overhaul…..for every new science paper…there needs to be at least 10 people lined up to try and prove it wrong

Terry Harnden

More properly give proof or evidence as to what parts could possibly be wrong and should be looked in more detail.

Wouldn’t it bee a hoot if Gavin Schmidt had to verify his models?

Dan DaSilva

Dave Fair,
What if he had to verify the code to a level of public safety critical control systems? He would have to structure the code, write a test plan, and run test cases. Can not even imagine how many bugs would be found. The rule is for every bug found during testing there is one in the code that will never be found. I bet that code looks like something out of the spaghetti factory.
However, commentators at RealClimate have lectured me that climate models reflect best practice, no worries.

Government climatologist “best practices” has nothing to do with ensuring accuracy and quantification of uncertainties, Dan. Their “best practices” has more to do with continuing the gravy train.
IPCC AR5 had to arbitrarily reduce the CMIP5 model projections of near term temperature trends (God only knows how far off the other climate metrics were.). The fact that there has been no (public) discussion of this disaster in the planning for CMIP6 models to be used in AR6 is indicative of world governments’ orientation.
The IPCC is a UN political (socialist/SJW) organization bent on shaping the world to an idealized sustainable path. The old Soviet 5-Year Plans were pikers in comparison. All models/studies will be bent to the needs of the plan.
Comments on AR6 must be directed at exposing the disconnect between the science and its uncertainties as reflected in the (hopefully) honest chapters and the political SPM lies. We must demand a plain language interpretation of the bureaucratic obfuscational language slathered across all the reports.

Latitude, do you know about studies concerning the “Sexual Response of Beautiful Women to Dirty Old Men” I want to volunteer for reproducibility.

paul courtney

Wolfdasilva: I did such a study. I was able to determine that the women who gave the subject the air were, like non-temperature sensitive trees, not proper data, and had to be culled out of the sample group. That got the sample group down to one, and I married her! So my experiment was wildly successful, just could not get it through peer review (shoulda tried pals).

Self-selection by the sample group, Paul? The entire universe of possibilities didn’t self-select, except for the one. We make no comment on the standards of the one, except that the one must be a saint and long-suffering.

Wolf, your posting on this blog proves you don’t have the money to entice such a sexual response.

RAH

Though I appreciate what Pruitt is doing a rule ensures NOTHING over the long run because the next director can change it at their will. The needs to be a law. One that makes it clear that ALL government agencies must be fully transparent and reveal the science and statistics upon which they base their policies, rules, and laws. National security being the ONLY exception.
There also has to be a way to prevent such agencies from using the power of the tax dollar to sue in order to gain compliance with their policies unless there is a clear violation of the law or rules.

Karlos51

regarding laws.. we have loads of those in Australia – the problem is most laws for ‘the ordinary man’ have penalties attached to them while those for corporations and bureaucrats do not.
I’ve been on the face of this – a government department broke a law, when I queried the legislative body as to what the penalty was the answer was along the lines of ‘we don’t like to approach these things in an adversarial way, we’d rather liaise and negotiate’ My reply was “I’ll bet you do”. the normal process post-law-breaking usually involves a restructure or a memo being sent about.

ironargonaut

Trust me it is same in US

DonM

Regulator: “… we will definitely take good look at what happened, we will be able to use this situation as “a teaching moment” and we will come out of it with more experience and knowledge for the future.”
(Knowledge about how government staff can get away with lying/cheating/stealing to advance their personal agenda; Experience with respect to not getting caught in the future.)

kaliforniakook

RAH – my thoughts exactly. Congress needs to act – now!

arationofreason

There needs to be a RULE that the fox does not get to watch the hen house. NO agency should be able to fund its own studies and as stated so well here, studies must be subject to REAL peer review by very independent groups and agencies. Since these things become politicized there need to be public education and reporting agencies independent of the sycophantic media so that the public can have access to reliable information to inform their vote. This right-left catfight is ill-suited to any important legislative questions of National and indeed world-changing decision process.

Jim

Sad, very sad.

Sad that studies underpinning costly Federal regulations must be verifiable, Jim?

Jim, me no understandy.

markl

Finally, some sanity. The MSM reports this action as being ‘anti science’. This will be difficult to spin negatively…. but they’ll try.

It’s anti-political “science,” Mark. Since the “science” is supporting their politics and biases, the MSM want it with no questioning by us rubes.

rogerthesurf

Need similar direction in my country as well.
Cheers
Roger
http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

Tom Halla

Many of the studies used by the EPA were dubious, but the level of actual scientific rigor by the agency has been rather poor since the DDT finding under NIxon.

Woohoo! I shorted black box manufacturers a few months ago.
Carbonated beverages and oysters for everyone!

“Incredibly, EPA modelers also claimed they can accurately forecast global temperatures, climate and weather, technological advances, economic development, living standards – and damages to global civilizations and ecosystems from US carbon dioxide emissions – for the next 300 years!”
No wonder mathletes got all the chicks.

When we get to Star Trek level it should be a breeze to do all of that.

Dan DaSilva

Are these the cases where modelers “predict the past” by use of models (hindcasting)? Yogi Berra ” It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

Former95B

Line #2: ++++++

The hindcasts of IPCC CMIP5 models missed the early 20th Century cooling and warming periods. They can’t even get history right.

I drive using only the information gleaned from my rear view mirrors.

Non Nomen

Ingenious. That means, if you want to drive forward you actually use the reverse gear?

Its called “backing” to the future. Didn’t you see the movie, Non?
Your ass gets there first. With all that fat, the future doesn’t hurt so much. That’s a real advantage given that those who tell you they can predict the future are leading with their asses.

Gary Pearse

PM 2.5 is easily handled by the lungs in the small amounts discussed, even the 60 times level of the 3xperiments. For millenia in the early Holocene, after the retreat of the Arctic ice cap, on exposed barren ground, melt water formed lakes the basins of which filled up with sand silt and clay from ground rock. When the basins drained and dried, the silt and fine clay became windborn and formed deposits up to 100m thick over 10% of the N hemisphere, so our ancestors were no strangers to dust.
The lungs have fine motile cilia (hair like clumps) that move the particles in a layer of mucous up to where we can cough it up and get rid of it. Smoking and other chemical contaminants can eventually immobilize the cilia and this creates the condition of emphysema. Otherwise healthy lungs have no problem with normal low levels of particulates. Acicular mineral particles can lodge in the lungs and these are not good. But a low level of these is also handled.

Indeed, our lungs are astonishing. And great news for smokers is that immediately upon quitting, their lungs begin a remarkable process of healing.
Nevertheless, I always cringe when I see, say, tile cutters in a driveway working in a cloud of dust, without a mask. (Or eye protection. Or hearing protection … )

Eight years next month on the 27th, and I feel great.

That’s totally awesome! Good for you!! 🙂

D. J. Hawkins

@Max Photon

And great news for smokers is that immediately upon quitting, their lungs begin a remarkable process of healing.

Sadly, not always. My father hit the 5-year mark, where the risks are supposed to decline to the non-smoker baseline, and then was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma. As I understood it, this is highly correlated to smoking. He didn’t last quite 6 months.

Jackson and McCarthy relied heavily on the No Lower Threshold (NLT) model originally designed for radiation exposure. Their allies were those fund raising for heart and lung diseases.
If this model had any validity, then some small but measurable population of the US should be keeling over from radiation poisoning from eating bananas.
As many have pointed out, where are the bodies?!?

Darrin

They’ve got “Where’s the bodies?” covered. According to some of the reading I’ve done on this, any death labeled unexplained or natural causes before a persons average lifespan is up gets attributed to pm2.5. See how that works? Plenty of bodies to go around. /sarc

Michael C. Roberts

Gary – Very concise layman’s terminology for the muco-ciliary escalator system. Also, it may help to detail that fibers including those we all know as asbestiform – asbestos-shaped fine dust particulates (exhibiting a form that is always longer in length than they are cross-ways, or fibrous in nature) are very difficult for this muco-ciliary flushing system to eliminate after deep-bronchiolar and/or alveolar deposition.
Most fine particulates are indeed trapped in this fly-paper like trap, but dose (amount of available) dust particles taken in from the breathing zone (12″-18″ of nose & mouth) have a lot to do with eventual ‘body burden’ that our immune systems have to cope with during scavenger cell elimination.

willhaas

A lot of what the EPA has been saying on the Internet about climate change is not true. Looking at the paleoclimate record and the work done with models, one can conclude that the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control. Despite the hype, there is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of scientific rational to support the idea that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero. The AGW conjecture depends upon the existence of a radiant greenhouse effect caused by trace gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. Such a radiant greenhouse effect has not been observed in a real greenhouse, in the Earth’s climate system or anywhere else in the solar system for than matter. The radiant greenhouse is science fiction so hence the AGW conjecture is science fiction as well. The EPA has been trying to pass off science fiction as real science.. A lot of their past actions have been based on science fiction. The EPA needs to expunge all of the AGW related science fiction from their web site.

commieBob

It also responds to growing concerns that extensive scientific research in environmental, medical and other arenas cannot be replicated by other scientists,

The alarmists are accusing the Koch brothers of funding campaigns to use the replication crisis to delegitimize ‘climate science’.
The replication crisis is a scandal. The one place where replication of published results is attempted is biomedical research. The drug companies find research that could be turned into medicine. The first step is that they try to reproduce the results. Most of the time they fail. More than half the time, the original researchers can’t even reproduce their own experiments. link
The safe factors that make for bad biomedical research are also at work in other fields. Climate science is no different. In fact, there’s ample reason to believe that climate science is worse.
The alarmists can’t defend bad science. The best they can muster is to accuse the Koch brothers of being evil masterminds. Maybe they are. They didn’t create the replication crisis though. The public should know about it. If it takes Koch money to get the word out, so be it.
Three cheers for Scott Pruitt for tackling this problem. The people who want to use highlly unreliable science to justify wrecking out lives and economy should be muzzled … maybe even jailed.

commieBob

Typos:
The safe same factors that make for bad biomedical research …
The people who want to use highlly unreliable science to justify wrecking out our lives …

In clisci, Bob, it is not a replication crisis. It is a misuse of normal scientific study protocols, misapplication of statistics and outright fabrication of evidence.

The US EPA asserts (https://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gwps.html) Global Warming Potential (GWP) is a measure of “effects on the Earth’s warming” with “Two key ways in which these [ghg] gases differ from each other are their ability to absorb energy (their “radiative efficiency”), and how long they stay in the atmosphere (also known as their “lifetime”).”
The EPA calculation overlooks the very real phenomenon of thermalization. Trace ghg (all ghg except water vapor) have no significant effect on climate because absorbed energy is immediately thermalized. At low altitude, gas phase emission, as calculated by Hitran, is essentially all from water vapor molecules. http://i66.tinypic.com/mktz04.jpg
The EPA calculation of the GWP of a ghg also erroneously overlooks the fact that any added cooling from the increased temperature the ghg might have produced is also integrated over the “lifetime” of the gas in the atmosphere so the duration in the atmosphere ‘cancels out’. Therefore GWP, as calculated by the EPA, egregiously overestimates the influence on average global temperature of noncondensing greenhouse gases. The influence (forcing) of a ghg cannot be more than determined by its immediate concentration. The EPA assessment completely ignores the effect of water vapor which, by far, is the most important ghg and appears to be the only significant ghg.

Edwin

In my last years working I administered a long running state mercury program. Those running the state’s program along with FDA and EPA sold the mercury issue to the mainstream media like laundry detergent. Even after the Seychelles and Faeroe Island epidemiological study results they continued to push mercury. Why? Why did they continue to spend millions per year on research. I sat in a couple of meeting with my staff and EPA staff. They believed I was one of the flock, a true believer. They made it quite clear that if they could not stop coal fired plants and the other uses of coal through carbon dioxide emissions they planned to use mercury emissions. It didn’t matter to them that such emissions were not harming anyone’s health yet they push the idea that no mercury was good for anyone, yea old precautionary principle. Indeed they have paid for studies that claim to show any mercury, in any form does harm to everyone.

Unpublished, and – obviously – unverifiable. But very believable. Thank you for your honesty.

markl

Please be more vocal. We need more truth to combat the false narrative that fossil fuels are the devil.

littlepeaks

Tomorrow is my birthday — I’ll be 71 years old. When I was young, all beverages came in glass bottles. I remember when they started using plastic bottles — I hated them — you could taste the plasticizers. I was also exposed to lead paint and all the lead from leaded gasoline emissions. I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA while the steel mills were operating. I had to walk up a road paved with red dog (a mill by-product). To keep the dust down, our borough often covered the road with used motor oil. I went to college at Duquesne University, which was just down the river from all the steel-mill air pollution. I remember that some days the air was so bad, you could barely see the sun. According to all these studies, I should be dead by now. But actually, I still feel pretty well (at least, as of today). 😊

William

I also grew up in similar conditions, and have also reached a ripe old age.
What you fail to appreciate is that your exposure to all of these materials were actually contributing to your longevity and good health. Were it not for this exposure killing off all the pathogens in your system, you would be long dead.
The difference between then and now is that we call exposure to these things “medicine” and their administrators “doctors”.
A little gratitude would be in order!
(Do I need a /sarc tag?)

Kaiser Derden

Ethics charges against Mr. Pruitt ??? Mr.Pruitt has not been accused of any ethics violations … his decisions, security costs and travel expenses have been questioned …

Ernest Bush

His security costs were high because of the number of threats left-wing fascists have made on his life. His travel costs are nothing compared to his last two predecessors under Obama. Then there was all the travel expenses of other agency employees.

Mike Restin
kokoda - AZEK (Deck Boards) doesn't stand behind its product

Wow…………impressive writeup

IMO, it is because of efforts such as this … that Pruitt has been, and will continue to be, a primary target of the immoral and corrupt swamp congressmen and their media lapdogs; as there is WAY TOO MUCH MONEY for them to lose if Pruitt continues dumping on and working to shut down their illegitimate 0-bama-era “cash cows” [which, heretofore, remained secret via secret data and etc].
Further, ideally, these EPA rules and regs changes would be best done through Congressional legislation; however, because some of these changes would need 60 Trump-supporting Senators — which is not now the case — POTUS Trump needs to accomplish some of this via Exec Orders, while, as stated above, portions of it may be accomplished via internal EPA rewriting.
Note: Senate Majority Leader McConnell can enact, through entirely precedented legal means, these necessary Senate rule changes; where he can remove this 60-vote requirement to where only a simple majority would be required; however, for some reason, he is not willing to do so. His excuse, so far, has been that he does not want to change Senate tradition; however, my guess is that much more likely some BIG DOLLAR lobbyists — who are benefitting by keeping secret all these EPA data secrets — are paying him off big time.
Small wonder — in my mind — why McConnell, who is approaching 80 years of age, and yet has made no indications that this is his last term, is so willing in keeping his seat in Congress: he and many members of his family and political allies are living like royalty off of his govt perquisites — our tax dollars — and lobbyists payoffs; while, at the same time, he cares for his constituents — that is, whenever he is not duping them — only enough so as to get reelected.
[If it were not for the record amount of registered DC lobbyists expenditures during the 0-bama admin, we would now be setting new records. This past year [2017], if memory serves, lobbyists spent more than $6,000,000,000 — yes, that’s SIX BILLION — on Congressional influence; and this is just the ones which are registered. If anyone wonders why their darling Congressman went, near penniless, to DC, but, now, after just a few terms, is a multi-millionaire, please, wonder no more. Further, if anyone wonders why their darling Congressman are unable to enact laws which are supported by large majorities of We The People, please, wonder no more. It is because our USA Congress is FOR SALE and the lobbyists are better-paying customers than are the constituents.]
This swamp is way beyond its critical need for a good draining. In the meantime, Mr. Pruitt, keep up the good work. MAGA!

Read about some of the shady dealings done by McConnell and his extended family in this No-1 New York Times Best Seller: Secret Empires https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062569368?tag=breitbart035-20
==================================================================================
In the meantime, see below a cut/paste portion of another article discussing a shady deal between McConnell’s wife’s family and the Chinese govt; where, the full article can be found at this link:
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/04/30/revealed-mitch-mcconnells-laws-bought-10-massive-ships-chinese-government-since-wife-elaine-chao-became-transportation-secretary/
REVEALED: Mitch McConnell’s In-Laws Bought 10 Massive Ships from the Chinese Government Since His Wife Elaine Chao Became Transportation Secretary
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) in-laws have ordered 10 massive cargo ships from the Chinese government since the senator’s wife Elaine Chao became Secretary of Transportation. The deep financial ties between the Chao family’s shipping business Foremost Group and the Chinese regime were first revealed in the #1 New York Times bestseller Secret Empires.
Then on January 31, 2018, Foremost Group ordered four more 210,000-ton ships from CSSC. Angela Chao, sister to Sec. Elaine Chao and Foremost’s Deputy Chairman, said she expects cooperation between the two entities to extend into the future. In January 2017, Angela Chao joined the board of the state-owned Bank of China.
The finances of Sec. Elaine Chao and her husband, Sen. Mitch McConnell, are closely tied to the Foremost Group. In 2008, James Chao gave a $5 million-$25 million “gift” to Sen. McConnell, more than tripling his net worth. Contracts with other Chinese state-owned enterprises make up a significant portion of Foremost’s business. James and Angela Chao previously served on the board of CSSC Holdings, a major contractor for the Chinese military and a key supporter of the PLA Navy.=======================================
==================================================================================
Making money hand-over-fist; tripling his net worth in only ONE DEAL; open to any deal that he can leverage: why would McConnel NOT want to stay in the Senate until way past the time when dementia begins to set in?
OTOH, McConnell has only minimal interest in supporting POTUS Trump; and, ONLY when it fits his self-serving agenda.
Yes, I have no special “insider’s angle” and I can only read between the lines — in some places, IMO, the writing is very clear — but, with all of his other self-serving schemes, I can not see how McConnell gives any priority to supporting Mr. Pruitt and his efforts to clean up the EPA. McConnell is much too busy and much too conflicted due to his efforts to dupe the American public and to stuff his pockets full of cash.
In DC there are way too many people such as McConnell; and, even though not enough LEGAL American citizens are fully aware of their corruption and immorality, rest assured, every dictator, warlord, oligarch, international tyrant, bully and etc is aware fully that, because of people like McConnell, one can disregard equality and fairness before the law; rather, as long as McConnell and his ilk have their hands on the levers, America is FOR SALE … to the highest bidder.

“Secret” is a euphemism for “junk” which reflects the strength and fear of the Greenshirt block.
Pruitt is doing the best he can but the administration signals weakness to the extreme left. There isn’t going to be a single green vote converted and I doubt it impacts the enthusiasm of green hate either. Net, pandering only dulls his own voters.
The President should denounce climate junk science, exit the UN Climate Framework, installed the alternative science team. Instead Pruitt was forced to punt “Red team/Blue team” and the babble at the EU about returning to Paris. Not what I and many voted for. Weak and pandering politics.

kenji

When I submit a set of building plans to my local building department, I am required to include 2-sets of structural calculations, wet-stamped, and signed by the Engineer who performed the calculations. And here in the SF Bay Area the calculations include detailed lateral forces calculations for seismic forces. These calculations are scrutinized by either the in-house building department engineers, or are given to an independent plan check engineer (peer review). This is all to ensure the building (and its component parts) won’t collapse and kill the occupants.
For the EPA to dispense with this all-important peer review (by fully disinterested parties) is shocking and the most regressive, anti-science, unsafe practice I can imagine. Thank you, Mr. Pruitt and MY President

Kristi Silber

Ha! This is hilarious.
“Incredibly, EPA modelers also claimed they can accurately forecast global temperatures, climate and weather, technological advances, economic development, living standards – and damages to global civilizations and ecosystems from US carbon dioxide emissions – for the next 300 years! Moreover, in the real world, the benefits of using carbon-based fuels and improving crop, forest and grassland growth via higher atmospheric CO2 levels outweigh hypothesized costs by at least 50-to-1 to as much as 500-to-1”
So, it’s incredible to think that EPA modelers can forecast these things, but it’s not problem to calculate the benefits relative to the hypothesized costs (which are suddenly acceptable enough to use for comparison)? And that’s in THE REAL WORLD!!! Hahahaha! Such hypocrisy! Such lack of reason!
Political drivel.

to the hypothesized costs (which are suddenly acceptable enough to use for comparison)?
Why wouldn’t you? If the current benefits are 50X or more the worst case hypothesized costs, then there’s only one logical conclusion, which is that the benefits are worth it. As usual, Kristi throws around criticism without any facts or evidence to support what amounts to nothing more than a snarky remark. Drivel indeed.

Former95B

Hypothesized costs?
Costs (economic) both way can be fairly objective if based on proper accounting models. The EPA cost models, like their climate models, are based on Keynesian BS.

MarkW

Looks like Kristi has decided to go full blown troll on us.

J Mac

David,
Your logic is unassailable but remember, logic is not part of Kristi’s curriculum vitae.

knr

Given they can not even offer a forecast for more than 72 hours ahead worth a dam , beyond ‘in the summer it will be warmer than in the winter ‘ its is not incredibly at all . Merely a reflection of reality and how much the ‘settled science ‘ is unsettled BS’
Outside of ‘magic models ‘ there is still far to much uncertainty for any claims of settled anything , in addition to the poor data collection system, two thirds of the planet covered by what is in reality a hand-full of buoys, and ‘better than nothing ‘ proxies used for much of the historic record.
All problems that existed and one reason that in the ‘good old days ‘ uncertainty in this area was acknowledge as a inevitably feature of the area .
It was only after the became ‘political useful ‘ not scientifically valid did the claims of ‘settled’ appear . And even now the model approach of ‘firing everything at it and hope open hits ‘ is a give away of how far they are in reality from ‘settled science ‘

MarkW

In Kristi’s world, if one model works, this proves that all models work.
Then again, Kristi has been taught that believing is more important than thinking.

paul courtney

I was hoping Kristi would stop by, so I can ask this: Were you OK with the part of the political drivel in which the Admin has to tell board members to stop voting grants to themselves? Were you ever in line for a grant, only to find you came up short because the board voted to give grants to board members? Would that be hilarious?

Michael C. Roberts

So….is ‘Kristi’ the new ‘Griff’? We had Griff moving a bit more towards the center of Left, or at least he was not dripping the Kool-Aid from his lyin’ lips every time he posted, as he was when he first slithered on the scene……
Just a jab your way Griff, don’t take it personally!
Regards,
MCR

So, Kristi, the EPA can “… accurately forecast global temperatures, climate and weather, technological advances, economic development, living standards – and damages to global civilizations and ecosystems from US carbon dioxide emissions – for the next 300 years?”
If you can but certify that, I’ll fall at your feet and worship you forever.

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia

Obama was an extremely successful penetration agent who sought to use environmentalism (among other things) to undermine the leading country of the western capitalist democracies.
USA, you dodged a bullet.

joelobryan

Obam is still alive and well, with deep funding from the likes of Steyer-Soros and Ceres.org funders. He is running an opposition machine from his Secret Service guarded home in Washington DC, and working on his neo-Marxist agenda. He has his apprentices who he is grooming and are politically “up and coming” who he plans on supporting future Presidential races.
He is not gone by any stretch.

Former95B

Yes, we dodged that one bullet, but the “deep state”‘ is still loaded for bear.
Fortunately, we have a lot of ammunition, too.

When protection of the deep state depends on the emotional stability of two adulterers, what could possibly go wrong? Better be hiring some good lawyers (ala McCabe’s go fund me)!

Just think of where we would have been had Clinton won, Krudd: N. Korea, Iran, Bill’s penis, NAFTA, tax reductions, falling down the White House steps, TPP, etc.
Has anybody else noted that Clinton’s eyes don’t track together? Neurological problems?

J Mac

RE: As Mr. Pruitt observed, “The ability to test, authenticate and reproduce scientific findings is vital for the integrity of the rule making process. Americans deserve to assess the legitimacy of the science underpinning EPA decisions that may impact their lives.”
Just so Mr. Pruitt, both refreshing and long overdue. No more crony socialism pretending to be ‘science’, as we endured from the corrupt EPA of the Obama administration. Let’s put an end to the politically driven faux-science and fear mongering that was designed to strangle the economic power of the USA. American citizens deserve and demand transparency from the EPA science that drives its regulatory processes. We had little of that from the Obama cadres.
As for the entrenched supporters of the past EPA faux-sciences, we will know the disenfranchised crony socialists by their squeals of “Such hypocrisy! Such lack of reason! Such political drivel!”

Former95B

“we endured from the corrupt EPA of the Obama administration”
Got news for you; the EPA has been corrupt since it’s inception.

John Endicott

Yes, but it reached unprecedented levels during the Obummer admin.

J Mac

‘Got news for you’, Former95B,
The overt and covert corruption for political purposes within the Gina McCarthy EPA, Eric Holder Attorney General office, and Barack Hussein Obama regime et.al. exceeded the combined corruption of ALL preceding EPA admins and associated presidents.

Pruitt still needs to police staff interactions with green/socialist NGOs.

Archie

Don’t forget radon.

GREY LENSMAN

Simple but honest and logical plead, anyone using ld50 analysis goes to jail for fraud. End of story

joelobryan

The AAAS has this statement of Policy and Public Advocacy on its Website;

“April 20, 2018
AAAS
Statement on EPA Administrator’s Plan to Disallow Use of Scientific Evidence in Decision Making
We are very concerned with recent news reports that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has sent a proposed rule to the White House to soon end the use of scientific studies that have underlying data that is not publicly available. Epidemiological studies often contain patient information and must maintain individual privacy. Other studies rely on public and private-sector funding sources that may limit access to underlying data. The administrator’s latest attempt to reject valid scientific evidence fundamentally mis-characterizes the way science is conducted and made available for decision-making. If put
into practice, EPA could prohibit, or make it incredibly costly, for the agency to use a wide swath of high-quality scientific research. Despite the political rhetoric, there are existing federal guidelines that require
access to the scientific information used for federal policies and regulations.
This proposal appears to be an attempt to remove valid and relevant scientific evidence from the rule-making process.”

Rush Holt, chief executive officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
source:
https://mcmprodaaas.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/AAAS%20Statement%20on%20EPA%20Administrators%20Plan%20to%20Disallow%20Use%20of%20Scientific%20Evidence%20in%20Decision-Making.pdf

So should we take Dr. Rush Holt’s word on this?
Let’s be skeptical and break it down and analyze.
His first point is on secret science is with a reference to epidemiological studies and patient information.
– With first-hand knowledge, I can tell you (the WUWT reader) that every study since the late 1990;s has had an Institutional Review Board (IRB) in the US and Canada approval process. The IRB views patient confidentiality and patient consent to participate in any clinical or clinical research proposal study of highest concern. They (the school, hospital, clicnic and investigators) can get their butts sued-off by a trainload of money-hungry tort-bar lawyers representing aggrieved patients if they violate it, along with possibly losing NIH funding.
The IRB at every medical school and their associated hospitals and clinical study participating hospitals, VA hospitals doing research studies. and military hospitals are under NIH scrutiny (and possibly CDC and/or FDA) where confidential patient records are of course kept by attending MDs and medical-licensed clinical staff. All clinicians and staff are subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA, US only) confidentiality. The approval for these studies by the IRB mandate protection of patient confidentially when data is removed from patient records and pooled, analyzed, and subsequently published to inform the entire medical community of important results.
As such, any clinical study in the US now must have a NIH-issued study number, confirming compliance with approved IRB and NIH guidelines in all areas of patient confidentiality and possibly Good Laboratory Procedures (GLP) where required. No credible peer-reviewed journal editor will accept a clinical or human study subkject research related manuscript without Methods section of that manuscript clearly stating IRB and NIH compliance was adhered to where patient-clinical study data are used.
So for PIs and named investigators (in the IRB proposal all proposed studies must submit), all PIs and investigators are named, by-name, and protocols are inplace to mask patient identifying data to use this information in which they want to publish or move it outside cliniical hands and data systems. For over 20 years now, there are extraordinary efforts and expenditures in place (hiring specialists trained in HIPAA and data handling) that Principle Investigators (PIs) and all associated investigators must utilize to mask identifying patient information in the data analyses before that data leaves licensed HIPAA-trained clinician hands and their patient records. This masking and stripping out of patient-identifying data is now quite routine and already demanded by the IRBs for approval of any and all human-related and clinical patient studies since 1996
No bureaucrats at EPA or any other government bureaucracy, in consideration of a proposed public rule should ever have confidential patient information, secret or not. If they do, someone has broken HIPAA and/or violated their IRB protocol and NIH directions. Both are subject to severe penalties.
Dr Holt’s next assertion in the AAAS statement is: “Other studies rely on public and private-sector funding sources that may limit access to underlying data.”
This is an extremely vague statement with no example other than possibly referring to government-funded special panels of scientists, do agency directed studies who only report to the agency. Again, they cannot use clinical data if it is not masked, and if they are doing work for the government, it should by accessible, independently reproducible, and subject to FOIA. This is acutely true when private funding for public policy studies is used in policy and rule-making (individual or corporate) where property and constitutional guarantees of being secure in homes property and liberties may be at stake in the proposed rule. And most vitally, anything less than total data transparency in private-funded studies is most assuredly open to junk science findings that serves a particular political agenda.
Dr Holt’s next statement is : “The administrator’s latest attempt to reject valid scientific evidence fundamentally mis-characterizes the way science is conducted and made available for decision-making.”
What science has Director Pruitt rejected? None is named. This is an ambiguous assertion with no facts or data. To be sure: Science is independently verifiable. And claimed science that is not independently verifiable is not science. Dr Holt most surely knows this.
Dr Holt’s next statement is: “If put into practice, EPA could prohibit, or make it incredibly costly, for the agency to use a wide swath of high-quality scientific research. ”
Federal courts have ruled that Federal agencies must consider the public costs their rules may impose. As such, the claim that it may be too costly for the agency to use high-quality scientific research flies in the face of the considerations already discussed above, namely the already quite expensive HIPAA law and compliance actions therein already in-place, and that has nothing to do with EPA or other agency rule making including the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Food and Drug Administration. The high costs are already there if the data is to be used at all (unless you are the EPA’s privately hired with public money-version of Dr. Josef Mengele).
So in consideration of this analysis (above), it is my opinion that Dr. Rush Holt’s and the American Academy for Advancement of Science’s contention that patient confidentiality might be compromised or would make unavailable such study’s conclusions to the EPA as both specious and wholly invalid.
Joel O’Bryan, PhD
[Comment found and rescued. -mod]

paul courtney

Joel: For a generation or three, good-gov’t types called for transparency in gov’t and passed laws requiring same. (As an aside, another post has comments that we need to pass another law requiring this, seems passing laws doesn’t necessarily solve the problem if someone is willing to set up false email accounts or, what the hell, set up her own server). Dr. Holt thinks transparency is good for others, but sometimes private funding requires keeping secrets. I’d like to know if he would extend that to, say, tobacco companies.

joelobryan

Mods: hate it when the SPAM or other WUWT/WordPress filters take my long posts and don’t even tell me if they are awaiting moderation. So check the Spam or other folder please.
[Yes…WP likes to sequester random posts as spam or trash. We believe it’s due to a desire to give us mods busy work. You know, to make sure we earn our salaries… -mod]

John Dowser

“…studies and computer models from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”
IPCC does not originate any of these studies and models of course. It’s a deceptive sentence. The main problem being that “volumes of studies by independent scientists” somehow fail to make it to the various strict peer review processes surrounding the A and B level journals. Or do not even bother.
For EPA to somehow start controlling or “fixing” the national and international scientific “communities”, not matter how fundamentally flawed they might be, would be a bad, very bad thing in principle. They are just not Keepers of the True Scientific Faith. It’s uncertain who is, but it’s not EPA.
More transparency and opening up to the debate between scientists, even when still marginal, is a good thing. But fighting fire with fire, as in this case: fighting the politicization of science by politicizing or even policing science inside the agency will simply not work on the longer term at all. A temporary Pyrrhic victory at best.

Well said sir.

WXcycles

Lucky USA, I wish someone like that would put a broom through BOM, marine mcience, science organisations in general, and public funded media. Then investigate and expose the funding sources of Australuan Greens party, and greenie NGOs.
We have a Royal Commision into big Banks and FIRE sector right now, wr were told it would find nothing much, the Govt were completely against it but thd public would not take no for an answer. Well guess what? The banks and FIRE sector were using political protection and media PR spinning (via former State Premier politicians spokes people) to hide there now exposed criminal activities.
The same thing has occured in all public science and public media, and it badly needs to be cleaned up, too.

beng135

End not only secret science, but also about half the regulations and employees. That swamp is a source of disease & needs draining….

This particular topic has really been a burr under my saddle for a long time. I work for one of the other Federal agencies as a scientist and we play by the rules. What I mean is that any data or decisions that are made based on said data is made available to the public. The taxpayer paid for it and it ultimately belongs to them. The idea that you can regulate and dictate policy to the proles from your ivory tower is not how we do business in this country. Or at least it shouldn’t be.
I co-host a podcast with two other guys that deals with science and history that I think the readers of this blog would enjoy. On our next episode I address this very topic in a short rant. So, if you don’t mind the shameless plug, the show is called the Seven Ages Audio Journal. It’s on all the usual platforms and the website is http://www.sevenages.org
Thanks!

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Kempton Park

I think the equitoxicity ruling, which says that all PM2.5 particles are equally toxic “because we do not know that they are not” is in danger of being revoked. It was never true and everyone knew it then and knows it now. It serves as the basis for numerous regulations and WHO targets that exist without considering what particles are made of, only their aerodynamic diameter.
The knock-on effect of revocation will be huge. Those claims for ‘premature deaths’ attributed (by committee) to estimates of PM2.5 exposure by estimates of numbers of people causing estimates of inhalation inducing estimates of disease are all based on the assumption that all particles are equally toxic: sand, dandruff, soil, asbestos, cement – everything.
If not the house of cards, at least some rooms of cars are about to fall.

michael hart

In bio-medical research it is quite common to see a paper where they purportedly investigate the effect of a drug/compound, but do it very badly. Not observing any significant effect at lower concentrations, they just keep on raising the dose until a sufficient number of cells/animals die or show some other response which allows them to claim an effect, frequently with the aid of shoddy statistics and supine reviewers.
Of course one can easily do the same thing using just pure water, or glucose, or vitamin C. It is simply dreadful science and is usually recognised as such, albeit not usually in a public fashion that would embarrass the authors or cause a stink. But these sort of studies seem almost the norm in cited enviro-circles where they have a compound to ban, or an industry to destroy. If the FDA was charged with interpreting the academic output of the enviro-scare industry then we would have fewer ridiculous laws like those arising from the EPA endangerment finding.