Pollution in California

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A chilling story about the California Air Resources Board and some scope creep and rot at the top. From Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:
Green regulation in CA: Academic fraud, retaliation, and science denial
Reason TV�s Ted Balaker offers a lengthy look into how government and academia teamed up in California to stifle scientific dissent and pass new environmental regulations on the basis of fraud. Take the time to watch it all, as there is a lot to unpack in this story, which starts off with a trucking company in Cypress, California, that may go out of business thanks to new rules from the state�s Air Resources Board (CARB). New rules on diesel emissions make Dwayne Whitney�s trucks illegal to operate without enormously expensive additions, rules CARB imposed because of a study on particulates produced by Dr. Hien Tran that linked the emissions to 2000 �premature deaths� in California each year.

However, another researcher who found no connection between diesel particulates and �premature deaths� decided to check on Tran�s credentials, and discovered that his PhD had come from a diploma mill, bought for $1000. When the researcher, UCLA�s Dr. James Enstrom, blew the whistle on Tran and insisted that CARB needed to consider his work before passing the new regulation, a curious thing happened. After 34 years on the job, UCLA fired Enstrom. Why? Perhaps it has to do with the fact that two powerful CARB commissioners, Mary Nichols and John Froines, are also UCLA professors. According to Balaker, Froines voted to give Enstrom his pink slip.

This story exposes the connection between government regulators and Academia better than any I�ve seen in a long time. The people of California should demand an accounting of the attack on academic freedom at UCLA, the use of fraudulent researchers at CARB, and the destruction of private sector business on the basis of highly selective choices in scientific research. Find out more about this story at FIRE, which is defending Enstrom.
Just wonderful... Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Ed has an update here:
Enstrom will meet with University of California chancellor Gene Block on Monday to start the appeal of his dismissal, but that may not be the last word. According to FIRE, which has come to Enstrom�s defense, twelve members of the state Assembly have warned Block that they will hold public hearings into the UC system�s handling of academic freedom if Enstrom�s termination is not rescinded.
And of course:
What about Tran and Nichols? They both still have their jobs. Tran got a 60-day suspension and a demotion, but still works as an air pollution specialist for the state despite his record of fraudulent representation. Nichols still chairs CARB. Froines, after a brief departure, returned to CARB�s scientific advisory panel to chair their toxicology committee, after voting to fire Enstrom at UCLA. The only person who lost their job from Enstrom�s whistleblowing was Enstrom himself.
That house needs some cleaning. CARB did good work back in the 1970's -- getting LA's SMOG dealt with. Now, they are just another victim of Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on April 2, 2011 5:24 PM.

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