EPA Science Advisors Not So ‘Independent’

The EPA states on its web site that, “The Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) provides independent advice to the EPA Administrator on the technical bases for EPA’s national ambient air quality standards.”[Emphasis added]

But is that assertion true?

Texas Congressman Joe Barton said to EPA chief Lisa Jackson last week:

… I want to discuss the EPA’s science and research funding and support activities such as the quality assurance supervisory budget and the committees that monitor the EPA’s internal activities. You fund research with grants to people who also serve on your review committees. Is this a conflict of interest? Almost every single member of your Clean Air Science Advisory Committee (CASAC) has been directly or indirectly funded for research. This hand and glove policy making by those appointed to also do your research and being funded by you at the same time is not appropriate. They are often asked to review others research they themselves were a party on the original research team. How could one possibly expect them to be objective in any way?…

Was Barton off-base? Judge for yourself. According to EPA’s extramural grants database (at least until the information is deleted!):

  • CASAC chairman Jonathan Samet is listed a principal investigator on $9,526,921 in EPA grants.
  • Board member George Allen received is listed as a principal investigator on $3,907,111 in EPA grants.
  • Board member Ana Diez-Roux is listed as a principal investigator on $31,343,081 in EPA grants.
  • Board member H. Christopher Frey is listed as a principal investigator on $2,956,342 in EPA grants.
  • Board member Armistead Russell is listed as a principal investigator on $20,130,736 in EPA grants.
  • Board member Helen Suh is listed as a principal investigator on $10,962,364 in EPA grants.
  • Board member Kathleen Weathers is not listed as a principal investigator on any EPA grants; but her employer, the Cary institute of Ecosystem Studies, is listed as a the lead institution in $3,570,926 in EPA grants.

Perhaps by “independent,” the EPA is referring to wealth?

Keep in mind that Chairman Samet, presumably withe the approval of the CASAC Committee, recently commented that there is essentially no limit to EPA regulatory power under the guise of air quality.

14 thoughts on “EPA Science Advisors Not So ‘Independent’”

  1. RICO was a kangaroo court usuing the same Judge Kessler as the EPA case. The below shows there was never any proof to any of the Nazis claims to begin with! Now they are forcing tobacco companies to make false statements via the same Judge Kessler. Didn’t Hitler do that via bayonets!

    7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18
    November 2004.


    “5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke – induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease.”

    In other words … our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can’t even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact … we don’t even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

    The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.

  3. Eric,
    The Heartland Institute is not government funded. If you’re trying to be snarky, put a little intelligence behind it.

  4. What can we do? I am a resident of CA. A conservative a Tea Party member . And my local group has gotten several members on to the local R.C.C. Because we thought that would be the way to effect the most change.
    We have a great citizen running for cd 3. The peoples choice a man who faced several obstacles in life’ and not only over come them he is a successful self made man . Colonel Rick Tubbs. Did I forget to say that I ‘an one of the few conservative Democrats in the country. God and country over party. Is my motto. Will back on track both party.s are very disappointing the good old boy’s school has endorsed a silver spoon child a lady by the name of KIm Vann.
    I only heard her speak once with the three other candidates she was by far the worst speaker in the group. I have heard Rick debate Congressman Miller. And he not only held his own he moped the floor with him. If she gets the go ahead and becomes the one to face Congressman Garaminda (sp) He will most definitely mop the floor with her. I don’t get it why have n’t they learned from there past failures . They can’t keep putting people up for office because the party owes them or there parent or that it ‘s just there turn. We need new blood citizen’s who will put the Constitution and the peoples God given right ,s first. The #1 job of our Govt. should be looking out for the best interest of it’s legal citizens first. ARE CIVEL LIBERITY’S HAVE BEEN UNDER ATTACK FOR A LONG TIME BUT RIGHT NOW WE ARE ABOUT TO WITNES THE END OF THE AMERICAN WHY OF LIFE AS WE KNOW IT. BECAUSE THE LIBERALS IN CHARGE HAVE RE DOULBED THERE ATTACKS ON ARE RIGHTS

  5. This is an outrage!!!! Where the hell is McCain and his whistle blowing. Where are all of the decent representatives in congress that would allow this to go on. And people think you are paranoid. It’s like Glen Beck says you can’t make this stuff up. Malfeasance on the part the EPA for allowing this and congress for lack of oversight.

  6. This entire Administration is a confict of interest…. where the hell is the damn OVERSIGHT !!!……… REAL oversight.!!!… these worthless, spineless nitwits in the GOP, er… Stupid Party …. they are as big a problem in that we hear alot of talk and fained outrage and NOTHING changes!!!… WTF!!!

  7. jd, I think Eric Baumholer is referring to the fact that the grants are something like 9 times larger than Heartland’s entire operating budget.

  8. conflict of interest. duh.
    but then this Administration has been rogue from day one, so where’s the ‘news’ in this?

  9. Where does one begin when considering the revelation in this article?

    jon samet gets 10 mill, who is this ana Diez roux getting 31 million to do these silly air pollution studies that involve
    their invented concept of the “premature death” and those claims that allow the EPA to push their agendas on regulations.

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