Friday, December 23, 2005

Watch EPA try to b-s its way out of bad particle pollution decision

If you haven's seen it, you might be amused -- or saddened -- with how the EPA tried to b-s its way out of its bad particle pollution decision. This is the transcript of the EPA telephone press conference:

http://www.epa.gov/air/particlepollution/pdfs/transcript20051220.pdf

Especially note the first two questions:

Your first question comes from Traci Watson with USA Today.

Traci Watson: Hi. Thanks for taking my question. I’d like to find out how you justify setting standards that are higher than what your own Science Advisory Council recommended?

Stephen Johnson: Good. This is the Administrator. First of all, I looked at all the science with my staff. In fact, I’m told that I spent more time than any other administrator looking at the science on this issue of particulate matter. And I made my decision based upon the best available science.

Now as been pointed out by (Bill) Wehrum, we are taking comments on the divergent views. But I made my decision based upon the best available science.

(Eryn) Witcher: Thank you. Next question.

Operator: Your next question comes from Mike Janofsky with New York Times.

Mike Janofsky: Mr. Administrator, if you made your decision on the best available science, does that mean that the Advisory Committee and also your staff did not have the best available science to make their recommendations?

Stephen Johnson: There’s a lot of factors to consider as pointed out that we certainly appreciate and support the Clean Air Advisory Committee. But again, what I need to consider is, is there a clear basis for - or clear evidence provided for making a decision? And this choice requires judgment, judgment based upon an interpretation of the evidence. And certainly in my mind, an interpretation of the evidence that neither overstates nor understates the strength or the limitations of the evidence. So that’s what I base my decision on.

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