Originally posted in Energy Central
March 4th, 2016 | By Stephen Heins
Funding bias is by definition biased!
Consequently, there should be full disclosure for all parties involved in regulatory and political issues, so that all researchers and research can be judged for their objectivity about environmental, economic and energy information being provided by grants and other funding sources–public and private.
Below, I am reprinting a piece from June 3, 2015 about the 100 pages of emails created between the EPA and the Harvard Health Study’s authors before, during and after the Final Health Study was completed.
E-mails show Harvard, Syracuse universities, researchers falsely claimed no EPA involvement in Clean Power Plan study
Posted on June 3, 2015 by Steve Milloy | 7 Comments
E-mails obtained from EPA through the Freedom of Information Act show that Harvard University, Syracuse University and two researchers falsely claimed a study supporting EPA’s upcoming global warming rules was conducted ‘independent’ of the agency.
As we reported on May 5, undisclosed financial conflict of interest questions swirled around a new article in the journal Nature Climate Change supporting EPA’s claim that its carbon dioxide rule would save thousands of lives per year. Here’s the New York Times headline:
[EPA study headline NYTimes 050515]
Notwithstanding that the study authors,
[Driscoll study authors]
received or were involved in $45 million worth of research grants from EPA, they were simply and innocuously described by the media as:
“researchers at Syracuse and Harvard Universities” (New York Times);
“scientists from Harvard and Syracuse universities and four other institutions” (Washington Post)
“from Harvard and Syracuse University” (Associated Press).
These representations were fueled by at least three claims and protestations of independence from EPA.
First, a Harvard School of Public Health media release described the researchers as “independent”:
[Driscoll Harvard clip independent]
Here is similar the Syracuse University media release:
[Driscoll Syracuse media release clip]
Second, study co-author Driscoll told the Buffalo News that he had “no dog in the fight”:
[Driscoll no dog in fight comment]
Driscoll also told the New York Times that it was a “coincidence” that a study model closely resembled the EPA proposal:
Third, study co-author Jonathan Buonocore told U.S. News and World Report:
[Driscoll EPA not part clip]
But e-mails obtained from EPA by JunkScience.com now show these claims to be false.
Below is a July 8, 2014 e-mail from study author Kathy Lambert to EPA staffers Bryan Hubbell and Linda Chappell (the EPA contact person for the cost-benefit analysis of the Clean Power Plan) asking for EPA help on the study. Note the recipients of the e-mail include study authors Charles Driscoll and Jonathan Buonocore. Remember Bounocore later told U.S. News & World Report that EPA did not “participate or interact” with the study authors.
[Driscoll Lambert 070814 email]
Here is a follow-up July 8, 2014 e-mail from EPA asking that the lead EPA staffer for the Clean Power Plan cost-benefit analysis, Amanda Brown, be included in the communications. Note Driscoll and Buonocore are included on this e-mail, too.
[Driscoll Chappell to Lamber 070814]
Below is an e-mail from Driscoll to EPA staffer Ellen Kurlansky discussing the study and even hinting at some quid pro quo — i.e., Isn’t our study wonderful, EPA? So can you help us fundraise?
[Driscoll Driscoll Kurlansky e-mail 071514]
Below is an e-mail that shows study author Joel Schwartz was looped in to the collaboration with EPA.
[Driscoll Schwartz looped in]
Below is a November 7, 2014 e-mail from study author Kathy Lambert to EPA staffers Rob Pinder and Jeffrey Herrick, and then-EPA post doc Shannon Capps asking for EPA’s views and involvement in the study.
[Driscoll Lambert e-mail 110714]
Absent some unimagined explanation, these e-mails flatly contradict the claims made in the Harvard and Syracuse media releases and in statements to media by Driscoll and Buonocore.