Where did “Secret Science” start? Is this just Scott Pruitt doing the work of corporations? Is he just some outlaw who is unilaterally dismantling the EPA?
First of all – this is not solely a Scott Pruitt production. He is not some renegade outlaw who is here just overturning stuff to please corporations.
The House passed a bill on this Secret Science in 2015, that the Democrat Senate sat on.
Why did this get traction in the House? There was a Senate investigation done that resulted in a report.
Have you heard of John Beale? He was an EPA guy who falsely claimed to be a CIA agent… not just once – he faked the whole persona. He got thrown in prison for 32 months.
EPA’s fake spy gets prison sentence – Politico, 2013/12/18
John C. Beale, the former EPA official who convinced his bosses, friends and even his wife that he was a CIA spy, was sentenced to 32 months in prison Wednesday for defrauding the agency out of nearly $900,000 in unearned pay and bonuses.
At the hearing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday, Beale described his compulsion to lie as “something like an addiction,” but he added that he didn’t want it to sound like an excuse.
Why do I bring this guy up?
Because he is the one who spear-headed the effort of the legislation mentioned in the article that I just previously posted. It mentions how costly the regulations are with regards to Ozone and Particulate Matter.
Here is the Senate Report.
EPA’s Playbook Unveiled: A Story of Fraud, Deceit and Secret Science – U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, 2014/03/19
Some of the findings in the report…
Brenner’s decision to hire Beale was based solely on their personal relationship and not on Beale’s qualifications. Beale himself admitted that he had no environmental experience. In the critical area of federal legislative experience, Beale’s supposed qualification was an unpaid undergraduate internship for Senator John Tunney (D-CA).
Beginning in 1995, Beale and Brenner took the lead on EPA’s internal process to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Ozone and Particulate Matter (PM). The duo set in motion “EPA’s Playbook,” a strategy to game the system by compressing the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) review via a friendly sue-and-settle arrangement, relying on secret science, and inflating benefits while underestimating costs.
With these standards, EPA sought to regulate fine particulates (PM2.5) in addition to larger particles (PM10) for the first time under the NAAQS, despite a distinct lack of scientific understanding of the integrity of the underlying data.
The two studies EPA relied upon, known as the Harvard “Six Cities” and American Cancer Society (ACS II) studies, were and remain controversial. EPA’s own scientific advisors warned EPA that the Six Cities study was “not in the peer-reviewed literature” and emphasized that there were significant uncertainties with the data, meaning EPA’s decision to proceed with the standards was a pure “policy call.”
Both Administrator Carol Browner and AA Mary Nichols admitted that neither of them had actually read the studies. Rather, it appears that Browner and Nichols deferred to the “expertise” of EPA’s career staff — Beale and Brenner — to make this “policy call.”
Beale led EPA’s effort to suppress interagency criticism of the standards and issued the “Beale Memo,” threatening OIRA officials who dared to criticize EPA in a letter to Congress. EPA tried to hide the existence of the Beale Memo from Congress, but was undermined by a conscientious whistleblower who surreptitiously turned over the memo to Congressional staff.
So you have a confessed addicted liar with no environmental experience in the EPA making policy based on science that was questionable by the EPA’s own experts.
This is how the Secret Science got started.
This removal of hiding the science behind the regulation is about shining light on an agency that affects how private business operates. There is nothing wrong with that. Transparency is good.