A Duke professor’s new “Scientific Consensus”, shuts down the coal industry.

 Would you have ever guessed when you heard Obama say in the San Fransisco Chronicle in January, 2008 “if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can, it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted,”  that a Duke University professor would have been the one to pull the trigger on the coal industry?


John Vandenberg is the Director of the National Center for Environmental Assessment, Research Triangle Park division, a department of the EPA, and a professor at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. His division was  responsible for authoring the Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides in 2008. A 479 page “consensus” on how millions of healthcare dollars will be saved because SO2 emmissions will now be cut in half.  From NCEA’s website:

“EPA’s National Center for Environmental Assessment, NCEA, provides guidance and risk assessments aimed at protecting human health and the environment. This guidance presents critical analyses and summaries of scientific consensus, vetted through a rigorous peer review process, on the risks of pollutants to human health and the natural environment.”

Where have I heard the word consensus before?

However, in 479 pages the word consensus is used only 1 time. 

A consensus now exists among scientists that genetic factors related to health outcomes and ambient pollutant exposures merit serious consideration
 I am fairly positive that a consensus about genetics being related to health outcomes of any kind is not news. I am pretty sure the medical community has known about genetics playing a major role in any disease epidemiology for the last 50 years or more. 
When you examine the Authors section of the Science Assessment closley the “rigorous, peer reviwed, scientific consensus” loses all of its credibility. It is a little like reading the credits of a Pixar “shorts” film when the Producer, Director, Writer, and Artist are all the same person. 
Of the 28 Authors and Contributors listed, 65% (18) of them are EPA employees.
Dr. Vandenberg is Director of the EPA-NCEA-RTP division, and listed as a peer-reviewer. Dr. Cote with EPA-NCEA-RTP,  is an author, and  Executive Director. Ms. Walsh and Dr. Ross are both officers of EPA-NCEA-RTP, Walsh is listed as a peer-reviewer, and Ross an author, and they are both Executive Directors.  
If this is not evidence of our current government’s intention to totally transform our Constitutional Republic into a banana republic then you will never be convinced! The EPA authors the “science”, reviews the science, publishes the science, AND then enacts the rules (laws). 
Andy Stone with Forbes reported back in April of 2009:

Lisa Jackson, the EPA administrator, signed a so-called endangerment finding, stating that carbon dioxide and five other products of fossil fuel combustion are harmful to both the environment and to human health. As a result, the EPA could begin regulating automotive CO2 emissions as soon as June. The ruling also gives the EPA broad power to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from industry and electric power utilities for the first time.” “This is a huge turning point,” says Josh Dorner, a spokesman for the Sierra Club. “The effect on the energy market will be immediate.” Utilities have canceled or put on hold 97 coal-fired generation projects.”

 Is it just me, or does the Sierra Club seem glee about shutting down the coal industry?

In November, the Chamber warned the EPA that “a finding of endangerment would trigger a regulatory cascade that would in turn impose an inescapable and unreasonable economic burden on both U.S. citizens and the federal government.”  “No one will benefit from the ruling,” says Bill Kovacs, vice president of environmental affairs for the Chamber, adding that the ruling will allow the “EPA to run wild.” “The cost of operating a business would increase dramatically,” says Kovacs, as they’d be forced to pay for clean technology and more expensive fuel.” http://www.forbes.com/2009/04/17/epa-carbon-dioxide-business-energy-epa.html

Is this what Obama meant when he said during the 2008 campaign under Cap and Trade (which he could not get through congress, so he ordered the EPA to bypass Congress with a ruling) energy prices would neccessarily skyrocket? Yes I am pretty sure it is.

What a legacy we North Carolinian’s will have to pass on to our children. As we slept in the arms of the DNC and GOP, the EPA seized control of our country’s energy supply.

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2 Comments on “A Duke professor’s new “Scientific Consensus”, shuts down the coal industry.”

  1. vacajack Says:

    Science in this instance is being used to validate a superstition, an idea that must be held as true despite the evidence obvious and not so obvious. Once upon a time the scientific methodology was used to vanquish superstition and provide workable truths. What happened? Might be some answers at the blog Clues Less Obvious.


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