American Elephants

The EPA Cannot Provide the Science That Justifies Their Claims. by The Elephant's Child

McCarthy testifies before a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on her nomination to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA has a science problem. Earlier this month, EPA administrator Gina McCarthy revealed to House Science, Space and Technology Committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) that the agency does not possess, nor can produce all of the scientific data used to justify the rules and regulations they have imposed on Americans using the authority of the Clean Air Act. Science has been trumped by the radical environmentalist agenda.

The full Committee issued a subpoena last August. It was prompted by two years of EPA stonewalling, apparently aimed at preventing the raw data cited by EPA as the scientific basis for those rules and regulations from being independently verified. Two studies: a 1993 Harvard Six Cities Study (HSC) and the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) 1995 Cancer Prevention Study II, had claimed that fine airborne particles measuring 2.5 micrograms or less were responsible for killing thousands of Americans every year.

This was the baseline science behind the EPA’s regulation of particulate emissions from power plants, factories and cars. Airborne particles of that size are approximately 1/30th the diameter of a human hair.

Last November, Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) introduced the Secret Science Reform Act aimed at barring the agency from proposing new regulations based on science that was neither transparent nor reproducible. “For far too long, the EPA has approved regulations that have placed a crippling financial burden on economic growth in this country with no public evidence to justify their actions.” Smith added “It appears the EPA bends the law and stretches the science to justify it own objectives. The EPA must either make the data public, or commit to no longer using secret science to support its regulations.”

There have long been suspicions about EPA’s claims of just how many were going to die from this particulate or that one in very specific numbers. There are more recent studies that refute the data on which the EPA relies. John Hopkins-trained biostatistician Steve Milloy revealed the fraud the EPA has been getting away with for decades. “Airborne Fine Particulate Matter and Short Term Mortality” looked at virtually the entire state of California from 2007 to 2012. His data did not show that PM2.5 is killing people. There was a negative correlation in Los Angeles, where the air quality is some of the worst in the country.  His data did not show such a relationship. Another study from the National Institute of Statistical Sciences found the importance of PM2.5 particulate  matter does not support the claims made by the EPA.

When the EPA wants to pass a new regulation, they feel confident in enumerating just how many will die from each kind of fine particulates in coming years. We can’t predict the future, so such claims are false at the start. Add on claims of a significant number of children dying, and who could deny the EPA the chance to fix things. Unfortunately it is the usual political ploy.

With their science in question, the EPA is having trouble coming up with regulations designed to kill coal-fired power plants (Obama said he would bankrupt them) that would survive legal challenge. There is news that the EPA, on its own authority, is considering allowing states to impose a carbon tax! So now a government bureaucracy can impose taxes on its own, without a vote of Congress or state legislatures?

The agency is full of environmental zealots, green cranks and enviro-radicals. They have been running roughshod over the American energy industry and making it up as they go along. Calling them to task is long overdue.

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