Report: EPA cut corners on climate finding

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Michael Gerrard said that while lawyers and politicians would try to use the report to fight EPA regulations, the scientific case for global warming has only gotten stronger.

The worst-case scenario for the agency is that a federal judge sends the document back for reworking, putting its global warming regulations on cars, trucks, power plants and refineries in limbo.

The report itself found that EPA “generally” adhered to data quality requirements. But it said while the agency’s document was based on well-established and peer-reviewed science, it required additional independent scrutiny because the EPA weighed the strength of that science. The inspector general pointed out that the EPA did not publicly report the results of the review and that one of the dozen experts who reviewed the document worked at the agency.

EPA officials said that information was included, but not in the format the inspector general wanted.

The Obama administration has emphasized the importance of peer review.

Six weeks after taking office in 2009, Obama issued a memo that said: “When scientific or technological information is considered in policy decisions, the information should be subject to well-established scientific processes, including peer review where appropriate, and each agency should appropriately and accurately reflect that information in complying with and applying relevant statutory standards.”

A year later, the president’s science adviser, John Holdren, emphasized the “particular importance” of outside review by scientists.

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Associated Press Science Writer Seth Borenstein contributed to this story.

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Follow Dina Cappiello on Twitter (at)dinacappiello

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Online:

EPA inspector general’s report: http://www.epa.gov/oig/

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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