to a group called American Stewards of Liberty (ASL), federal agencies
“have been found making policy decisions based on false, inflated, faulty,
manipulated, biased and, in some cases, artificial and manufactured data
and science.” So in an attempt to help property owners fight these incidents,
a little-known law called the Information Quality Act (IQA) was just 2
paragraphs inserted into a must-have appropriations bill back in 2000.
information if provided for those threatened by overzealous regulation
and restriction of private property rights aware of this little-used “secret
is wondrously brief and direct compared to laws that have run into tens
of thousands of pages, like the Affordable Care Act.
are just two key elements of IQA:
reveal “the smoking gun” of junk science behind an effort by radicals to
use the Endangered Species Act to restrict property rights of all owners
in a two million acre region of Texas and New Mexico for the sake of the
three-inch “Dunes Sagebrush lizard.” The primary “scientific evidence”
cited for the lizard’s listing as an endangered species was a one-page,
handwritten field note that was neither dated nor signed by anyone! In
another case, the IQA was used to reveal that government biologists had
been caught planting wolf hair on barbed wire fences to prove its presence
and restrict use of private ranchland. In the latest example that brought
IQA to light, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Forest Service
are preventing New Mexico cattle ranchers from accessing water that two
different court rulings said they have. Here’s how: 23 acres have been
fenced off, blocking access to water area ranchers have relied on since
1957. Why? To protect habitat for the “meadow jumping mouse”, even though
recent University of New Mexico research 1) questions whether it’s a valid
subspecies and 2) questions whether it’s vanishing with evidence that populations
of the mouse extend along the Rockies nearly to Canada.
to every federal agency that is subject to the Paper Reduction Act of 1980,
(which basically means every agency, including the office of the President.)
it requires each federal agency to issue information quality guidelines
“ensuring the quality, utility, objectivity and integrity of information
that they disseminate” and to “provide mechanisms for affected persons
to correct such information.
the IQA a step further, earlier this year the Institute for Trade Standards
and Sustainable Development (ITSSD) filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
requests demanding the “science” underpinning the EPA’s 2009 greenhouse
gas rulings that identified six different greenhouse gasses as posing a
risk of endangerment to public health and welfare “within the meaning”
of the Clean Air Act. The requests were filed with the EPA and the Commerce
Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
is a 501(c)(3) organization with the mission of educating the public about
the legal and economic consequences of environmental health and safety
rules premised on the post-modern concept of sustainable development. The
group asserts it has found clear evidence the required peer review science
process that backs up costly regulation “has likely been compromised by
conflict of interest, independence/bias, peer review panel balance, and
transparency grounds.” Additionally, the ITSSD shows that elements of the
peer review process that dealt with “uncertainties” behind the findings
were basically ignored.
is seeking further evidence of junk science behind regulation run amuck
via the Freedom of Information Act but reports systematic efforts to resist
such requests by denying the customary fee waiver for non-profit groups
invoking FOIA to uncover corruption and incompetence in government. They
found the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) to
be the most often-abused laws by zealots with more political agenda than
genuine threat to clean water or genuinely endangered species.
to fight regulatory abuse with the IQA: ITSSD says it uses both the language
in the ESA and the IQA to verify the government’s contentions. For example,
the ESA requires the Forest Service to use “the best scientific and commercial
data available” to make its determinations. However, ITSSD has found (and
proven) that “the best scientific and commercial data available” doesn’t
necessarily mean it’s truthful or accurate. All it has to be is the only
science available on the subject, which makes it the “best” by Forest Service
interpretation of the ESA statute.
ITSSD has shown is important for affected property owners to know: When
petitions are filed with the Forest Service, requesting that a species
be listed as endangered, it is accompanied by science that is produced
by the petitioner. Opposing science is not. In fact, the “science” might
not even be accurate or proven. But if those who might challenge it don’t
even know about such a petition, by law the Forest Service must use whatever
has been presented by the petitioner during their 90-day determination
period to decide whether listing a new endangered species is warranted!
once the Service publishes their “Notice of Intent” to list a species in
the Federal Register, anyone can review the science that was used to back
it up. ITSSD says that once this expensive, yet simple act is undertaken,
they’ve found that more often than not, it is based on biased opinions
and/or manipulated facts and conclusions used to create a specific and
desired outcome by the petitioner. They say it often dodges the Congressional
intent and mandate of the Information Quality Act and misuses the language
of the ESA itself.
found the best avenue for redress by property owners is to attend public
notice meetings before local government entities like counties and conservation
districts. These officials can then insist that federal agencies “take
into consideration” other evidence that really is “the best scientific
and commercial data available” before making their final decision.