EPA bypasses its Science Advisory Board to push anti-coal regs

A December 2013 Wall Street Journal article noted that, in its rush to push its anti-coal regulations forward, the EPA ignored objections from its own Science Advisory Board. Furthermore, the agency appears to have pushed the SAB to accept research they claimed had been peer reviewed. However, further digging revealed that the EPA had done the claimed “peer review” itself over a period of a few short weeks.

In its original rule, the EPA had pointed to speculative studies and models out of a research unit in the Energy Department to show that sequestration works. Headquarters assured the SAB panel that these studies had been flyspecked by “industry experts, academia and government research and regulatory agencies.”

Yet when the SAB panel inquired further, the Energy Department revealed that some of the studies had been “peer reviewed” by the EPA itself over a period of just a few weeks and the rest never got an unbiased look. Nor could Energy provide “a documented or publicly available description for this peer review process.” EPA refuses to share the information with the SAB.

But somehow between the Nov. 12 memo and the Dec. 5 public meeting of the full SAB panel, the watchdogs were converted—or steamrolled—on the virtues of secret taxpayer-funded research and bogus technological claims. Under heavy lobbying from EPA brass, they tabled a vote on the working group’s recommendations.

As the WSJ piece notes, this “peer review” smacks more of political science than hard science. I have yet to hear anyone in this industry claim steadfastly that the science and economics of carbon sequestration support the EPA’s claim that it is fully tested and ready for widespread implementation.

Again, the science and economics are not yet there, but the EPA is pushing forward with the NSPS GHG rule regardless. For those who have not yet sent their comments to the EPA regarding the impending GHG rule, head over to www.EPARegsCostJobs.com and tell them to support science (qua science) and American jobs.

FYI: This issue is also discussed in a Dec 24 Heartland Institute blog post.

03. March 2014 by Jason Hayes
Categories: agenda, Climate Change, Energy, Environment, EPA, Industry Reports, Jobs, Marketplace Information, Policy, Regulation | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on EPA bypasses its Science Advisory Board to push anti-coal regs