The scientific enterprise at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is broken, contrary to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s assertions that “science is the backbone of everything we do at EPA,” or that major regulations are based on the recommendations of EPA’s “independent” science advisors. As Americans face a fragile economy and skyrocketing energy prices fueled by President Obama’s agenda, it is important to pull back the curtain on the ideologically-driven processes EPA is using to justify an avalanche of costly rules.
An independent peer review process is the foundation of sound, credible science. However, a cursory glance at the peer reviews conducted by EPA’s supposedly independent science advisors reveals a process that is the antithesis of independence. The EPA solicits nominations, chooses the panels, writes the questions to be asked, and staffs the meetings. And almost 60 percent of the members of EPA’s standing science advisory panels have received research grants from the Agency, totaling hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.
In the most recent review of EPA particulate matter standards—which provide the basis for numerous billion-dollar regulations — 25 individuals were chosen to peer review the results. Of those 25 reviewers, 21 were cited in footnotes as sources for the document they were supposed to be independently reviewing. The chair of the review panel was footnoted a total of 85 times. And while the EPA has its hand-picked scientists reviewing their own work, experts from the private sector are almost entirely excluded from this process. This is hardly a recipe for independent scientific analysis… [The Hill]