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Killing Us To Save The Environment

Rules based on questionable science.

In my hometown, San Diego, the Blood Bank fields eight “Bloodmobiles” (diesel-powered motor homes converted to clinics to accept blood donations from volunteers) which host more than 1,800 blood drives to benefit over 150,000 patients in 50 area hospitals every year.
 
A new Regulation (“The Truck Rule”) adopted in 2008 by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) requires all on-road diesel powered vehicles (trucks, buses, motor homes, etc.) to meet 2010 emission standards, either by replacing the engine or the whole vehicle.
 
The San Diego Blood Bank by 2017 will have to replace seven of the Bloodmobiles purchased before 2010. The replacement vehicles will cost an estimated $1 million more than the Blood Bank would have spent on replacements during that time. A million dollars that could have gone to saving lives. If my readers want to help out, they can donate here.
 
The CARB published a report to support the health benefits of the Truck Rule. The report relied on methodology developed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Among other findings, the 179-page report concluded that 3,500 “premature” deaths statewide in the year 2005 could be attributed to exposure to particulate matter from on-road diesel-powered vehicles. CARB said the Truck Rule would prevent that.

Staff scientist Dr. Hien T. Tran was the lead author of the report. Tran had been employed in a variety of positions with CARB since 1994. In 2007, he was appointed manager of the Health And Ecosystem Management Section. In announcing this appointment, CARB praised Tran’s work in “quantifying the health effects associated with exposure to air pollutants.”
 
The 2007 announcement goes on to recite Dr. Tran’s academic credentials including a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of California, Davis. This was a lie. “Dr.” Tran had a mail order Ph.D. from “Thornhill University” in New York. And CARB staff knew it. Tran was not qualified to author a statistical analysis of the health benefits of the Truck Rule.
 
On July 7, 2008, Dr. Stanley Young of the National of Statistical Science wrote California Gov. Schwarzenegger to complain that none of the authors of the CARB report were professional statisticians. CARB tasked “Dr.” Tran to respond to this letter, which he did, again claiming a Ph.D. in statistics from UC Davis. He admitted the lie after the Truck Rule was adopted and was suspended for 60 days.
 
Worse, Mary Nichols, CARB board chairman (and Schwarzenegger appointee) admitted she knew of “Dr.” Tran’s deception and lack of credentials before the vote on the Truck Rule and did not inform the rest of the Board because she said it was a “distraction.”
 
With the election of Jerry Brown as Governor (again), the Sacramento Bee reports that Nichols is hopeful she will be reappointed chair of CARB.
 
So, now, based on what can be charitably characterized as questionable science, my Blood Bank has to raise $1 million to replace seven perfectly good Bloodmobiles — money that could be used to expand the Blood Bank programs to save lives.
 
You don’t have to be a credentialed statistician to understand the tragedy, the overreach, the arrogance, the tyranny, of CARB.
 
Congress did not pass Obama’s cap and trade legislation — legislation Obama told the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle would “necessarily skyrocket” electricity rates. Undeterred, Obama is forging ahead. Despite the absence of any law authorizing it, Obama’s EPA is set to promulgate new carbon dioxide (CO2) emission restrictions and offset requirements on American power plants and manufacturing plants based on the “science” of global warming.
 
Congress needs to man up and stop this dictatorship. With the CARB Truck Rule example in mind, Congress must also question the “science” and the “scientists” supporting the demonization of CO2, which is an essential and beneficial element of life on Earth.

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Roger Hedgecock is a nationally-syndicated talk show host.

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