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Katy Grimes

Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned — Part ll of the firing of Dr. James Enstrom

There is a disturbing trend of state and federal environmental agencies, which do end runs around state legislatures and Congress, and regulate carbon emissions themselves.

The Environmental Protection Agency has been doing this for years, as has California’s Air Resources Board. And they’ve gotten away with this thanks to activist scientists.

But when another scientist blows the whistle, look out. Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.

UCLA lawsuit, Dr. James Enstrom

Dr. James E. Enstrom, Ph.D. a University of California at Los Angeles research professor who was terminated after he blew the whistle on junk environmental science and scientific misconduct at the University of California, filed suit against UCLA.

UCLA terminated Enstrom after 35 years of service after he exposed the truth about an activist scientific agenda based in fraud. But UCLA also violated California law for the sake of imposing expensive new environmental regulations on California businesses, according to the American Center for Law and Justice, which filed suit on Enstrom’s behalf.

UCLA’s actions were so extreme that its own Academic Freedom Committee unanimously expressed its concern about the case, the ACLJ reported.

UCLA’s retaliation against Enstrom first became apparent in December 2009, when Enstrom discovered that UCLA had cut off his salary fund and charged his salary against his research funds without his knowledge. In February 2010, Environmental Health Sciences Chair Richard J. Jackson told Enstrom that UCLA was laying him off. Enstrom fought back and kept his job.

Following the university’s first failed attempt to terminate Enstrom, by June 2010 he learned of further retaliation when the Environmental Health Sciences faculty voted not to rehire him because they claimed his “research is not aligned with the academic mission of the Department.”

Twists in lawsuit 

There’s an interesting twist in the lawsuit over the wrongful termination lawsuit of Dr. Enstrom, by UCLA. Enstrom’s research denied that very fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns causes a variety of disease outcomes, including cancer and asthma.

Some say the retaliation of UCLA is tied to Enstrom’s complaint about the callous disregard of appointment terms on a key scientific panel at the California Air Resources Board. Following a Pacific Legal Foundation lawsuit, several members of the CARB Scientific Review Panel, responsible for identifying toxic contaminants, were booted off.

Enstrom discovered UCLA activist and scientist, John Froines, had been on the panel without reappointment for 25 years, which exceeded the legislatively- mandated three-year term limits.

Wrongful termination

Now that the judge has set a trial date to hear Enstrom’s case in November, UCLA lawyers have come forward with a discovery demand list of nearly 100 items. The list includes asking Enstrom to produce “all communications with third parties not part of the lawsuit containing references to Enstrom’s claims against UCLA and the defendants.”

That broad net would encompass members of the media that reported the story, including Lois Henry at the Bakersfield Californian, and the two reporters and editors at the UCLA Bruin, as well as reporters at the Orange County Register and San Diego Union-Tribune.

Ironically, this request is from the same UCLA that claims a legal privilege that doesn’t exist for Public Record Act requests based on Academic Freedom, calling requests “’frivolous” open records requests for faculty members’ emails and other communications have a potential chilling effect on academic freedom.”

Enstrom ticked-off peers

As I reported in my last story February 6, Enstrom had done a 2003 peer-reviewed study, which found that second-hand cigarette smoke doesn’t kill people. That study ticked off many academics in science who had been benefitting for years from EPA and scientific research grants.

And it made an enemy of the American Cancer Society, which Enstrom says provides the science and data to the EPA, supporting EPA clean-air regulations.

Everything is economic.

Enstrom says most of the government policies about air quality regulations come from poor or incorrect science. He has courageously promoted his studies because he wants the correct science to be acknowledged, and the junk science exposed.

His study published in 2005 specifically shows no evidence of premature deaths in California due to exposure to PM2.5, the compound found in carbon emissions from diesel exhaust. This study was important because it showed the science the Air Resources Board wanted to use to be falsified and incorrect.

PM2.5 is tiny bits of dust and soot, and was the basis used to get Assembly Bill 32 passed, as well as the more recent statewide diesel emission regulations.

Cap and trade, or shuck and jive?

Under AB 32, the California Air Resources Board created a regulation that established
 a cap-and-trade program, ostensibly to help lower carbon emissions in California. AB 32 is the Global Warming Solutions Act, passed in 2006 by the state Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state to 1990 levels by 2020.

Cap-and-trade was established to help achieve this goal. The regulation places a “cap” on aggregate greenhouse gas emissions from businesses and entities responsible for approximately 85 percent of the state’s emissions.

In the implementation of the cap-and-trade program, the California Air Resources Board allocates a certain number of carbon allowances to the businesses. According to the ARB, each allowance equals one ton of carbon dioxide equivalent. The ARB provides some allowances for free to designated businesses. Other businesses are required to purchase allowances at auctions. Once the allowances have been allocated, entities can then “trade,” buy and sell the allowances, in order to obtain enough to cover their total emissions for a given period of time.

These regulations mandate that businesses, energy companies, manufacturing companies, construction and agriculture comply, and participate in cap and trade.

But according to Enstrom, the science used for these regulations is junk.

Enstrom’s lawsuit against UCLA requests the court to declare that the actions taken by UCLA violated his right to free speech on matters of public concern, along with his due process rights.

Further, the suit requests an injunction requiring UCLA to rehire Dr. Enstrom, as well as monetary damages.

While UCLA throws taxpayer-paid lawyers at Enstrom’s case, demanding hundreds of discovery documents, Enstrom believes the truth will prevail. But in the meantime, hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.

 

Part lll: Peeling the layers of junk science, and who benefits from it

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