Lawsuit: EPA’s ‘Independent’ Science Advisers Got $190 Million In Agency Grants

gina wh eventA free market legal group is suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for allegedly stacking a scientific advisory panel on air pollution with researchers who had received more than $190 million in grants from the agency.

The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (EELI) is suing EPA on behalf of the Western States Trucking Association and Dr. James Enstrom, a retired University of California-Los Angeles epidemiologist who was blacklisted for challenging EPA claims about particulate matter.

“The EPA has stacked the panel, which is required by law to be independent and unbiased, with researchers who have received over $190 million in discretionary grants from the EPA,” said Steve Milloy, an attorney with EELI, in a statement.

“This clearly violates the law and makes a mockery of the notion of ‘independent’ scientific review,” he said.

The EPA relies on a panel of scientific advisers, called the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, to validate the science underlying key clean air regulations pushed by the agency. In this case, EELI is asking the court to prevent the EPA from convening a panel tasked with reviewing the science behind agency regulations on fine particulate matter, or PM2.5.

EELI believes the agency has stacked the panel with researchers who will rubber stamp EPA rules regulating PM2.5. EPA also relies on claimed PM2.5 reductions for the majority of health benefits in some of its largest regulations on power plants.

Some 24 of the 26 members of EPA’s PM2.5 panel have gotten or are the current recipients of EPA grants. In total, panel members have gotten more than $190 million from the agency, according to EELI. Milloy says this violates the federal laws requiring such scientific advisory panels be “independent.”

EELI isn’t alone in pointing out potential problems with using scientific advisers financially reliant on EPA. Earlier this year, Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe sent a letter to the EPA, criticizing the agency for selecting advisers who benefit from federal largesse.

In 2014, Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith pointed out that many science panel members were often peer-reviewing regulations based on their own research, corroding the integrity of the peer-review process.

“Not only does the EPA pay researchers to produce controversial research that advances its PM2.5 regulatory agenda, but the agency pays the very same researchers to review their own controversial work,” said Milloy, who also runs the blog JunkScience.com and has been involved in the PM2.5 debate for years.

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Comments (6)

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    The EPA abuse of public trust is staggering .
    Conflict of interest ? NO … really ?

    The EPA hears what it wants to hear and pays people to make sure they play ball .

    The lawsuit is long overdue and regulations relying or using bought ” experts ” should be stuck .

    The EPA cess pool needs to be drained .

    Reply

  • Avatar

    GR82DRV

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    Billions of taxpayer dollars spent on grants designed not to find truth, but to buttress [b]a politically predetermined outcome[/b]. And the people perpetrating this fraud want to criminally charge anyone who would fund alternative research with private funds…

    The Orwellian saga continues.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    JayPee

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    @GR…………….

    Perfect summation of the hypocritical and inane position of the criminal EPA and the useful idiot attorneys-general position.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    JayPee

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    BTW

    Another way of characterizing a ” politically predetermined outcome ” is to call it :

    Result oriented research

    Which has been going on for at least 40 years primarily at academia.

    Remember when publish or perish was the rule for tenure ?

    Depending on the discipline, it has been the volume of grant research money you can accumulate for your institution that matters most for attaining continued employment for the last four decades.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    GR82DRV
    As usually beautifully summarized . No wonder Trump is going so strong . People are fed up with the corruption of truth and the criminal abuse of tax payers . Enough is enough. Hillarie’s bizarre attack on coal miners ,coal companies and the entire fossil fuel industry shows exactly why she cannot be trusted to represent the public interest instead of lobbyists and hedge fund billionaires trying to run the government with their check books .

    Donald Trump comes out with some strange things too but he will not sell the USA out or be bullied by lobbyist and
    financial backers .

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    What the Hell is the EPA doing handing out hundreds of $$millions in grants to anyone let alone $190 million dollars to members of a “scientific advisory panel ” ?

    Does the EPA not have auditors and conflict of interest policies ? $$ 22,000 dollars in roaming charges for an employee while on vacation ? How does that get approved for payment ? Management pretending to be CIA and disappearing for six months ?

    Split it up and cut it by at least a third to start with . Get a proper internal and external audit done of this out of control gong show . Grants what grants ? Stop this
    nonsense immediately .

    Reply

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