'EPA Caught!'

PBS recently ran a retrospective of the Dave Clark 5. While enjoying a trip back to another era of music and culture, I became fascinated by one tune, “Catch us if You Can.”  In the current era of governmental policy seemingly driven by arbitrary dogmatism and tailored science used to achieve social and political goals, the song spoke out as a challenge. We are the government, “Catch us if you can.”

In at least one area of federal activity, that challenge has been met. An article by Barbara Hollingsworth: EPA Concedes: We Can’t Produce All the Data Justifying Clean Air Rules catches the Federal government promulgating clean air regulations without all the data to back up  the claimed science used to impose increasingly expensive federal regulations. What if those burdens are unnecessary and without demonstrable health or economic benefits?

Former EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson testified about fine airborne particles measuring 2.5 micrograms or less (PM2.5) before Congress in September 2011: “Particulate matter causes premature death. It doesn’t make you sick. It is directly causal to you dying sooner than you should,” and “If we could reduce particulate matter to healthy levels it would have the same impact as finding a cure for cancer in our country.”

Yet when the standard of scientific research protocol is imposed on the EPA to provide the data that support such claims, and allow other scientists to replicate the EPA claims, the current EPA administrator, Gina McCarthy, is unable to do so as this article documents.

Hollingsworth notes: “Virtually every regulation proposed by the Obama administration has been justified by nontransparent data and unverifiable claims,” committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said in February, denouncing what he called EPA’s “secret science.” Also, "We’re at a point where EPA has conceded that they don’t have in their possession the data necessary to fully comply, and in some cases, never did possess the data.”

EPA, you have been caught…next?

Charles Battig, MD , Piedmont Chapter president, VA-Scientists and Engineers for Energy and Environment (VA-SEEE). His website is www.climateis.com