E-mails show Harvard, Syracuse universities, researchers falsely claimed no EPA involvement in Clean Power Plan study

E-mails obtained from EPA through the Freedom of Information Act show that Harvard University, Syracuse University and two researchers falsely claimed a study supporting EPA’s upcoming global warming rules was conducted ‘independent’ of the agency.

As we reported on May 5, undisclosed financial conflict of interest questions swirled around a new article in the journal Nature Climate Change supporting EPA’s claim that its carbon dioxide rule would save thousands of lives per year. Here’s the New York Times headline:

EPA study headline NYTimes 050515

Notwithstanding that the study authors,

Driscoll study authors

received or were involved in $45 million worth of research grants from EPA, they were simply and innocuously described by the media as:

  • “researchers at Syracuse and Harvard Universities” (New York Times);
  • “scientists from Harvard and Syracuse universities and four other institutions” (Washington Post)
  • “from Harvard and Syracuse University” (Associated Press).

These representations were fueled by at least three claims and protestations of independence from EPA.

First, a Harvard School of Public Health media release described the researchers as “independent”:

Driscoll Harvard clip independent

Here is similar the Syracuse University media release:

Driscoll Syracuse media release clip

Second, study co-author Driscoll told the Buffalo News that he had “no dog in the fight”:

Driscoll no dog in fight comment

Driscoll also told the New York Times that it was a “coincidence” that a study model closely resembled the EPA proposal:

Driscoll Davenport

Third, study co-author Jonathan Buonocore told U.S. News and World Report:

Driscoll EPA not part clip

But e-mails obtained from EPA by JunkScience.com now show these claims to be false.

Below is a July 8, 2014 e-mail from study author Kathy Lambert to EPA staffers Bryan Hubbell and Linda Chappell (the EPA contact person for the cost-benefit analysis of the Clean Power Plan) asking for EPA help on the study. Note the recipients of the e-mail include study authors Charles Driscoll and Jonathan Buonocore. Remember Bounocore later told U.S. News & World Report that EPA did not “participate or interact” with the study authors.

Driscoll Lambert 070814 email

Here is a follow-up July 8, 2014 e-mail from EPA asking that the lead EPA staffer for the Clean Power Plan cost-benefit analysis, Amanda Brown, be included in the communications. Note Driscoll and Buonocore are included on this e-mail, too.

Driscoll Chappell to Lamber 070814

Below is an e-mail from Driscoll to EPA staffer Ellen Kurlansky discussing the study and even hinting at some quid pro quo — i.e., Isn’t our study wonderful, EPA? So can you help us fundraise?

Driscoll Driscoll Kurlansky e-mail 071514

Below is an e-mail that shows study author Joel Schwartz was looped in to the collaboration with EPA.

Driscoll Schwartz looped in

Below is a November 7, 2014 e-mail from study author Kathy Lambert to EPA staffers Rob Pinder and Jeffrey Herrick, and then-EPA post doc Shannon Capps asking for EPA’s views and involvement in the study.

Driscoll Lambert e-mail 110714

Absent some unimagined explanation, these e-mails flatly contradict the claims made in the Harvard and Syracuse media releases and in statements to media by Driscoll and Buonocore.

7 thoughts on “E-mails show Harvard, Syracuse universities, researchers falsely claimed no EPA involvement in Clean Power Plan study”

  1. Congrats on getting these. That’s way more contact than I imagined. Hope you ask journal to correct or retract based on this misrepresentation.

  2. Great!
    Now, how to get around the huge, leftist machine known as the legacy media and get it in front of the voters.

  3. Steve;
    You are the type of person Sheldon Whitehouse wants to use RICO against.
    By exposing the truth, you are “misleading” the public into not going along with the EPA and its crony researchers.

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