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CARB Member Calls for Diesel Rule Review in ‘California’s Climategate’

trucksA member of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is calling for a review by independent researchers of the new diesel emissions rules for trucks and buses after learning that a researcher whose work contributed to the pollution standards in December 2008 falsified his credentials, reports the Mercury News.

One columnist is calling the issue the “California’s Climategate,” a reference to the recent leaked e-mails from scientists investigating climate change.

The truck and bus fuel emissions rule, written under A.B. 32, the 2006 law that addresses global warming, requires trucking fleets to acquire diesel particulate matter filters and upgrade their truck engines beginning in 2012, with the exception of small trucking businesses that will be exempt until 2014, according to Land Line Magazine. The estimated cost to the transportation industry is about $6 billion to $10 billion, according to the article.

The call for the truck rule suspension has also resulted in a brewing scandal at CARB as several California and national news organizations recently reported that several top CARB officials knew a year ago — before they voted on the Truck and Bus rule — that the team leader and researcher on diesel pollution was a fraud and did not have a doctorate degree as claimed, reports Land Line Magazine.

The revelation was discovered in emails sent between CARB board members, the head of CARB, and the California EPA, according to emails posted at www.killcarb.org, reports Land Line Magazine.

CARB spokesman Leo Kay told Land Line that CARB would probably address the situation and a potential change in the Truck and Bus rule’s implementation at its board meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

The scandal is calling into question the power and the response of the air resources board to the scandal as well as the legitimacy of the costly policy.

Despite the board knowing that the researcher falsified his credentials, his analysis was used to impose the controversial and costly regulations on truck, bus and diesel-powered machinery operators, according to an Examiner.com editorial.

A San Diego Union-Tribune editorial said it repeatedly criticized CARB for the adoption of “unprecedentedly sweeping and costly diesel-emission rules” and recently discovered that CARB Chairwomen Mary Nichols knew of the researcher’s fraud before the December 12, 2008 vote but decided not to inform the public, media or most of the board members.

The editorial also calls the deceit outrageous, citing Nichol’s explanation of the matter as a “distraction” and a “stupid personnel problem” rather than a scandal. In addition, the researcher still works at the agency, though he was demoted.

According to a San Jose Mercury News opinion piece, James Goldstene, CARB’s executive officer, said that although what the researcher “did was bad the science was sound.” He also said that no one was kept in the dark about the issue.

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9 thoughts on “CARB Member Calls for Diesel Rule Review in ‘California’s Climategate’

  1. I have no idea why this guy felt the need to falsify his title, which is stupid, but frankly the real issue is what happens with the independent review of his report.

    The fact that he is still employed at the same place is a pretty strong indicator that the contents of his report were accurate. I am sure they did an internal review of this report and would have fired this guy ASAP if they did not feel confident that it would stand up under external review.

  2. In the private sector the researcher would have been fired. Period. The researcher lied to get the position and lied in producing the research. Perhaps it is a shame that so many organizations, both private and public, put so much emphasis on pedigree, but cheaters should not be rewarded. (In the private sector it is usually connection to wealth, former prestigious firm, or name recognition school (e.g. Ivy or Stanford). In the public sector it often includes academic ‘credentials’ like pH.D.)

  3. Clean Air Performance Professionals

    Friday, January 29, 2010
    Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
    State Capitol Building
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    Phone: 916-445-2841
    Fax: 916-558-3160 ( new number )
    C/o Lisa

    RE: Sierra Research Report SR 2007-04-01

    Dear Mr. Governor

    California Air Resources Board (CARB) and The Department of Consumer Affairs/ Bureau of Automotive Repair DCA/BAR have contracted with Sierra Research for a Report of Smog Check performance.

    Sierra has informed me the report was final in March 2009 and released to CARB.

    CARB, BAR, IMRC, and the California Legislature are using the Report for public policy but refusing to release the publicly funded Report.

    Mr. Governor, I’m confused, can you refer me to someone who might help?

    Cc to interested parties

    From: Charlie Peters
    Clean Air Performance Professionals
    (510) 537-1796 – fax: (510) 537-9675

    CAPP contact: Charlie Peters (510) 537-1796 cappcharlie@earthlink.net

  4. * * If an elected official would request a copy of the Sierra Research SR 2007-04-01 and all communication about the report from CARB, DCA/BAR, IMRC & Sierra Research it might help improve performance of Smog Check.


    * * The Tom & Tom show: http://cbs5.com/video/?id=61255

    * * http://cbs5.com/local/smog.check.study.2.1468806.html

    * * A random ‘Smog Check’ inspection & repair ‘secret shopper’ audit, ethanol cap and elimination of dual fuel CAFE credit can cut California car impact over 50% in 2010. (Prevent Over 2000 tons per day of sulfur, PM, HC, O3, NOx, CO & CO2.) Improved performance of AB32 at reduced cost. (support H.R. 1207

    CAPP contact: Charlie Peters (510) 537-1796 cappcharlie@earthlink.net

  5. What percentage of clean piped used cars would pass a Smog Check?

    What percentage of used cars not clean piped would pass a Smog Check?

    What percentage of cars that fail a Smog Check and receive a pass after repairs would pass another Smog Check?

    What percentage of cars that fail a Smog Check are repaired by auto repair dealers for pay are not Smog Check licensed?

    Does DCA/BAR Chief Sherry Mehl audit Smog Checks to see if the fault of a failed car is repaired?

    What percentage of tampered Smog Checks are repaired using CAP funds?

    What percentage of cars repaired at CAP stations are repaired using CAP funds that do not fail a Smog Check?

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