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?…
- 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.