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June 24, 2009
Obama's EPA Makes a Mockery of Due Process
Surely climate alarmists enjoy enough unfair advantage over their rational counterparts, what with the mainstream media shamelessly suppressing the findings of the latter for political purposes. But now there’s compelling evidence that alarmists within our government have also taken unfair advantage, suppressing the results of their own climate study for the same nefarious reasons.
Sixty days ago yesterday, EPA chief Lisa Jackson released the Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act. The proposal initiated a statutory period of public commentary – ending yesterday – providing a forum to experts and interested parties on both sides of the “CO2 as pollutant” issue prior to any regulatory action.
But on the final day of the public commentary period, a dispatch was submitted to the EPA accusing them of attempting to cover-up an internal study that imperiled the outcome predetermined by both the agency and its puppeteers – the Obama administration. And the intraagency emails attached to the letter -- submitted by Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) general counsel Sam Kazman [PDF] -- leave little room for doubt.
One EPA office director actually demanded that the endangerment-challenging study be barred from circulation within the agency, never disclosed to the public, and not placed in the docket of the proceeding. And, as Kazman observed dead-on, the communications between that EPA National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE) Office Director -- Al McGartland -- and study author Alan Carlin, an NCEE Senior Operations Research Analyst, made clear that it was the study’s conclusions rather than its merit that earned it its place on the trash heap.
In a March 16 email to McGartland (who in a prior email had forbade his speaking to anyone outside NCEE on endangerment issues) and three other NCEE staffers, Carlin requested that his study be forwarded to EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation (OAR), which directs EPA’s climate change program. Carlin pointed out that roughly two-thirds of his references were from peer-reviewed publications and that his comments “explain much of the observational data that have been collected which cannot be explained by the IPCC models.”
The next day, Carlin received two emails from McGartland. The first announced the director’s decision not to forward Carlin’s comments to OAR, explaining that he could “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.” The second was a direct order arriving eight minutes later: “I don’t want you to spend any additional EPA time on climate change.”
Now that’s democratic public commentary at work. Can’t imagine why the term bureaucrat is more often than not slung pejoratively.
In all likelihood, the threat of CO2 regulation is merely an Administration ruse to coerce legislation. And Waxman-Markey is short on votes, even with proponents in both Houses pushing their skeptical colleagues to capitulate rather than ordain the EPA as the most powerful agency in the country. Remove that specter and remove with it the cap-and-trader’s ace-in-the-hole. Both at home and in Copenhagen in December.
The attorney reminded the agency of Obama’s April 27th speech to the National Academy of Sciences, in which he declared that “under my administration, the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over.”
He might have also mentioned that during her confirmation hearings in January, Lisa Jackson assured the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, "If I am confirmed, I will administer with science as my guide,” adding that “political appointees will not compromise the integrity of EPA's technical experts to advance particular regulatory outcomes."
At the time, we mocked the glaring absurdity of both oaths.
Now we denounce their impudence.
And their own mockery of process.