Comments on Proposed EPA Endangerment Technical Support DocumentAlan Carlin | July 9, 2009
On June 25th the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) released a draft copy of my report critical of the science underlying EPA’s proposed position on Endangerment under the Clean Air Act and the role of CO2 in global warming saying:
“The released report is a draft version, prepared under EPA’s unusually short internal review schedule, and thus may contain inaccuracies which were corrected in the final report. While we hoped that EPA would release the final report, we’re tired of waiting for this agency to become transparent, even though its Administrator has been talking transparency since she took office. So we are releasing a draft version of the report ourselves, today,” said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman.
CEI noted that: Internal EPA email messages, released by CEI earlier that week, indicate that in their view the report was kept under wraps and that I was silenced because of pressure to support the Administration’s agenda of regulating carbon dioxide. On June 26 I was given permission by EPA management to post the report on my personal website but not on the EPA website. Instead of posting the earlier draft released by CEI on June 25 I instead posted the last version prepared before the deadline for internal comments modified only to correct a few of the non-substantive problems. On August 5, EPA posted the last version of my Comments prepared prior to the end of the internal EPA comment period on March 16. This does not include the modifications to correct a few of the non-substantive problems. Thus there are now three different versions on the Web to my knowledge:
The early version made public by CEI on June 25
The last version prepared on March 16 completely unchanged and as distributed by EPA in response to FOIA requests.
The non-substantively modified version of the March 16 version which I prepared in late June
The major differences are between the CEI version and the last two, which are substantively identical. Unfortunately, many readers do not realize that the CEI version is an early version rather than the last version. EPA released the original March 16 version on August 5 as a frequently requested record under the Freedom of Information Act.
For further background information on all this, see press coverage including the following: CBSNews, NYTimes, Wall Street Journal news and opinion, and London Telegraph. For commentary on a September NYTimes story see here.
The title page of the last two versions of the report listed above reads as follows:
Comments on Draft Technical Support Document for Endangerment Analysis for Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act
By Alan Carlin
Based on TSD Draft of March 9, 2009
March 16, 2009
I prepared an update to this document, which is on page iii of the last version listed above, so that readers can better understand the conditions under which this report was prepared. I’m reproducing it here:
Important Note on the Origins of These Comments
These comments were prepared during the week of March 9-16, 2009 and are based on the March 9 version of the draft EPA Technical Support document for the endangerment analysis for Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act. On March 17, the Director of the National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE) in the EPA Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation communicated his decision not to forward these comments along the chain-of-command that would have resulted in their transmission to the Office of Air and Radiation, the authors of the draft TSD.
These comments (dated March 16) represent the last version prepared prior to the close of the internal EPA comment period as modified on June 27 to correct some of the non-substantive problems that could not be corrected at the time. No substantive change has been made from the version actually submitted on March 16. The following example illustrates the type of changes made on June 27. Prior to March 16 the draft comments were prepared as draft comments by NCEE with Alan Carlin and John Davidson listed as authors. In response to internal NCEE comments this was changed on March 16 to single author comments with assistance acknowledged by John Davidson. There was insufficient time, however, because of deadlines imposed by the Office of Air and Radiation, to make the corresponding change in the use of the word “we” to “I” implicit in the change in listed authorship. This change has been made in this version.
It is very important that readers of these comments understand that these comments were prepared under severe time constraints. The actual time available was approximately 4-5 working days. It was therefore impossible to observe normal scholarly standards or even to carefully proofread the comments. As a result there are undoubtedly numerous unresolved inconsistencies and other problems that would normally have been resolved with more normal deadlines. No effort has been made to resolve any possible substantive issues; only a few of the more evident non-substantive ones have been resolved in this version.
It should be noted, of course, that these comments represent the views of the author and not those of the US Environmental Protection Agency or the NCEE.
June 27, 2009