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Lawsuit accuses EPA of awarding 'independent' scientists $190M in taxpayer grants to fake air quality data

EPA fraud

(NaturalNews) A government agency that is supposed to be driven to act based on sound scientific evidence rather than political agenda? Does such an agency exist? If so, it isn't the Environmental Protection Agency.

For the paltry amount of $190 million (of taxpayer money) the EPA has been busy purchasing its so-called unbiased experts. Okay, so the agency hasn't simply placed wads of cash in brown paper sacks and given it to "independent" advisors. The process is much more subtle and official-looking: The money has come in the form of "grants" to these advisors, in order to ensure that the agency's desired political – er, scientific - goals are met through various "studies."

In what would be considered fraud, embezzlement and other forms of illegal activity and corruption if the private sector were doing the same thing, the EPA, in this sense, is behaving no differently than a criminal enterprise: Buying loyalty.

As noted by The Daily Caller:

A free market legal group is suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for allegedly stacking a scientific advisory panel on air pollution with researchers who had received more than $190 million in grants from the agency.

'Plainly disregards the law'

The Energy and Environmental Legal Institute (EELI) is suing the agency on behalf of the Western States Trucking Association and Dr. James Enstrom, a former University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) disease transmission expert who was boycotted for testing EPA claims about particulate matter.

"The EPA has stacked the board, which is required by law to be autonomous and fair, with analysts who have gotten over $190 million in optional gifts from the EPA," said Steve Milloy, a lawyer with EELI, in an announcement.

"This plainly disregards the law and makes a joke of the thought of "autonomous" exploratory survey," he said.

The agency depends on a board of scientific advisors called the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, to accept science claims regarding key clean air rules pushed by the EPA. In its case, the EELI is requesting that the court inhibit the EPA from assembling a panel tasked with looking into the science behind agency rules on fine particulate matter, or PM2.5.

EELI says that the EPA has stacked the board with scientists which essentially serves as a rubber stamp for all agency actions pertaining to PM2.5. The agency likewise is dependent upon assertions contained in PM2.5 for the greater part of health benefits in some of its biggest regulations regarding power plants.

The DC points out that 24 of the 26 members of the agency's PM2.5 panel have received or are currently receiving EPA grants. In sum, the board's members have received in excess of $190 million from the agency, according to figures provided by EELI.

'Considerable financial support'

Milloy said that is a violation of federal law, which requires that such scientific bodies be "independent."

EELI is not by itself in shining the light of scrutiny on likely problems in using scientific advisors who rely on the EPA for their living. Earlier this year. U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., sent a letter to the agency that was critical of it selection of advisors who were financially dependent upon federal grant dollars.

"I have observed EPA, under the Obama Administration, cherry-picking the same allies to serve on this advisory committee and its subcommittees at the expense of having an open and robust process for selecting external advisors," he wrote. "The majority of CASAC members have also received considerable financial support from EPA, which calls into question their independence and therefore the integrity of the overall panel."

In a separate story, The DC noted that U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, pointed out in 2014 that "16 of the 20 members on CASAC's Ozone Review Panel were cited by EPA in key regulatory science documents the panel was asked to peer-review."





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