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  1. It appears that the DOE was just following the example of the methods used in the EPA. National Review has an article of similar tactics used there. “EPA Meltdown: Reform Junk Science Agency Causes Freakout” Search on title to read. Or on junkscience.com. Milloy also discusses the EPA’s illegal human experiments with particulates and Diesel exhaust. Interesting. Strange that that was not investigated. Is subjecting people to the harmful PM2.5 not like Tuskegee, and the radiation experiments?

    1. @Rich

      Milloy’s book is quite interesting. I’ve only skimmed it so far, but the portion related to testing diesel exhaust on children reflects an agency decision process that has some similarities with the DOE Office of Science process described in this post.

      The brief version of the story is that the EPA considers diesel exhaust to be a human carcinogen with no threshold. Since that policy says there is no safe level of exposure, and since there is no potential benefit for humans, the material is not allowed to be used for experiments on human subjects without a very detailed disclosure of the potential risks.

      In California, it is apparently illegal for minors to be used as experiment subjects at all, since they are presumed to be unable to give informed consent.

      In violation of its own rules for outside researchers, the EPA funded researchers at USC and UCLA to perform experiments on children aged 10-15 using doses of simulated diesel exhaust containing 60 times as much PM2.5 as the legal limit for outside air in the state of California (300 micrograms/cubic meter versus a legal limit of 5 micrograms/cubic meter).

      Milloy’s documented proof of this series of experiments came directly from the EPA, after several rounds of FOIA requests that included some sleuthing related to pages that had been “deleted” from the record copy.

      1. Learn the FACTS.
        “in September 2012, E&E Legal (under its formal name) filed a federal lawsuit seeking to stop illegal human medical experiments conducted by the EPA. Six EPA employees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Medical School intentionally pumped what they termed “lethal” amounts of diesel exhaust, specifically small particulate matter termed “PM2.5,” directly into the lungs of human volunteers who were not properly advised of the risks. EPA actually has pictures of this gas chamber, a clear plastic pipe stuck into the mouth of a subject, his lips sealing it to his face, diesel fumes inhaled straight into his lungs.”


      2. @Rod, “the EPA does not believe that their testing had any potential for harming children. Milloy also believes they were absolutely correct in recognizing there were no long term risks.”

        Then why did Ms Jackson tell congress, in defending the PM2.5 for COAL POWER PLANTS that reducing to the rules levels will save the lives of 1/2 million people.

        “Further underscoring the EPA’s view that PM2.5 kills is more of Ms. Jackson’s congressional testimony. At the September hearing, Rep. Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, asked Ms. Jackson, “How would you compare [the benefits of reducing airborne PM2.5] to the fight against cancer?” Ms. Jackson said, “Yeah, I was briefed not long ago. If we could reduce particulate matter to healthy levels, it would have the same impact as finding a cure for cancer in our country.” Mr. Markey asked her to repeat what she had said. Ms. Jackson responded, “Yes, sir. If we could reduce particulate matter to levels that are healthy, we would have an identical impact to finding a cure for cancer.
        Given that cancer kills about 570,000 Americans per year, according to the American Cancer Society, the EPA’s claim amounts to PM2.5 being responsible for roughly 25 percent of all deaths in the U.S. annually.” – From – http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/apr/24/did-obamas-epa-relaunch-tuskegee-experiments/

        How can the EPA have it both ways? Why is it not harmful in an experiment and deadly when burning coal? And thus use that “science” “experiment” to effectively shut down all coal plants.

        1. @Rich

          Because Ms. Jackson was — and probably still is — a hypocritical politician who was using the power vested in her position to advance a political goal to impose additional costs on certain segments of our economy. Of course, I don’t assume she was doing it because she dislikes trucks or the products that trucks deliver to her home and the stores where she shops.

          I suspect that there are people for whom those additional costs are revenues or who are pushing competitive transportation modes. Perhaps Berkshire Hathaway wants more good to be shipped by rail and its investors provided funds and support for other actions desired by the Administration.

      3. How can the EPA have it both ways? Why is it not harmful in an experiment and deadly when burning coal?

        Because the exposed populations are very different.  Healthy young volunteers probably aren’t at risk of harm from brief PM 2.5 exposure, the effects of which appear to be temporary.  Chronic exposures and effects on those already impaired by other things are where you get mortality and morbidity.

        ER visit rates have been observed to track weather conditions which drive local PM 2.5 concentrations.  Substantial effects have also been seen where indoor smoking bans have been imposed and then removed.  But this kind of epidemiological data can’t tell you anything about mechanisms.

        Being downwind of a coal plant is practically the definition of chronic exposure, and those exposed include those with respiratory infections, athsma and heart disease.

        1. @E-P

          I’m not arguing that brief exposures or chronic exposures at moderate to low concentrations are harmful, but that is what the EPA asserts when it uses a linear, no threshold dose model for PM2.5. Those tiny particles are not something completely new in human experience; not only are there natural sources of the materials, but there have been concentrated sources ever since we began taming fire.

          As is the case for low doses of radiation, it is a pretty good assumption to believe that the survirors of human evolution were either born with or have developed some level of protection against these particles.

          If the EPA scientists believe that brief exposures are not harmful, they should insist that the people who write the rules take that knowledge into account and don’t extend the rules to attempt to prohibit levels far below what the science says are hazardous.

  2. I have mixed feelings about the article, but something or some things are definitely dirty in the EPA. The fact that Obama’s clean power plan was basically written by the NRDC and was not designed to give us clean power, suggests that the EPA is heavily penetrated by the “environmental” NGOs in much the same way that Goldman Sachs is calling the shots in other departments. That they are then diverting EPA money to their pals who are activists, not scientists, while pretending they are scientists fits the facts.

    The anti-technologists have way too much money compared to the number of hippies sending in $50 per year. Where does all that dough come from? How can these people afford to camp at demonstrations for weeks or months at a time? Are they all independently wealthy? Why do they sem to have infinite resources for getting their word out?

    The idea that an agency which has been captured by propaganda organizations in charitable clothing is now being directed by those forces to fund its own take over actually explains a lot. And that kind of reprehensible theft of public funds is in keeping with the fine tradition of blatantly lieing about nuclear power to deny the public clean affordable power, and keep consumers vulnerable to exploitation by energy speculators.

    And boo hoo, the Union of Corrupt Shills doesn’t like it. That alone tells me it’s a good thing. Of course they don’t like it. It might cut into their gravy train and the rabble of propagandists there might actually have to find something useful to do for a living.

    1. @Jeff Walther:
      Whether UCS behaves, as an organization and in an operational sense, as a “Union of Corrupt Shills” is somewhat immaterial. What matters is whether they — specifically individual scientific members — are capable of the introspection needed to back off a moment and ask “But what if I’m wrong?”

      Casting aspersions and calling names will not likely encourage such paradigm-shifting mind-set.

      Although, truth be told, at this point I’m at a loss to suggest what will.

      Back in spring ’86 I’d hoped, at this stage of our collective awareness if the unfolding climate catastrophe, a few more people would be asking “Wait a minute: Just how did we get here? What has actually worked that might help get us out?”

      In other forums it has been suggested that nuclear advocates such as myself abandon our own support for our “failed policies of the past.”

      In deference, you know, to the flailing policies of the present.

      As a young man I thought “The Fountainhead” to be an exciting, dynamic good read; perhaps even modestly decent literature.

      Later I found “Atlas Shrugged” to be repetitive and shrill.

      Then I looked into what became of the nuclear industries in the United States in the interim, and in France.


      1. Ed, I don’t believe that the UCS has any individual “scientific” members. No person who bases their opinions on actual evidence could take the positions they do (and have since the late 70s when they were taking out full page ads in SciAm to lie about nuclear power). I suppose a person could adhere to the scientific method in one’s private life and espouse the UCS’s positions in public, but that would make such a person a liar, as opposed to an ignorant, irresponsible cretin.

        I agree to the extent that insulting those who currently trust the UCS but might be persuaded away is a counter-productive tactic, but I see no reason to be reserved in my opinion of the actual perpetrators at UCS. Those people are reprehensible, profiting off of misinforming the public in ways that cause the public to act against their self interest. When one lies to people about matters of public policy, one enslaves them just as surely as putting chains on them; it steals their opportunity to make decisions about running their lives.

  3. Rod,

    Can I just ask for a verification of one of your statements?

    “Senior Department of Energy executives, several of whom were “Acting” Obama Administration appointees”

    Was it Obama, or did you mean to write Trump? It’s entirely possible, I suppose, that there are still Obama “Acting appointees” in DOE, but I would think it more likely that there would be Trump “Acting appointees” because the Senate would not yet have gotten around to vetting his appointments, whereas Obama appointments should have been vetted years ago?

    1. Oh, nevermind – I read further and realized this is not a ‘recent events’ story – this is a summary of a story that has been playing out in slow motion for years.

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