Disagreeing With CARB May Cost Your job

Katy Grimes: A 34-year environmental health sciences professor at UCLA appears to be on the chopping block and headed for the unemployment line for speaking out against diesel vehicle regulations, according to Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Linda. But that is not where it will end if Logue gets his way.

In a CalWatchdog exclusive, Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Linda, shared a letter he authored, signed by 25 other state legislators, addressed to University of California chancellor Gene Block and Vice Chancellor Scott Waugh, stating that legislators believe Dr. James Enstrom is being terminated on August 30, for his outspoken opposition to AB 32, California’s global warming initiative.

Logue said that Enstrom is also being terminated because of his discovery in 2009 of former CARB employee Hien Tran, who had falsified academic credentials, but was still allowed to write the health report that determined that CARB would forge ahead with drastic diesel regulations in the state.

Logue’s letter states that Enstrom is being terminated “in order to silence scientific views on the health effects of fine particulate air pollution. In particular, we are concerned that he is being deprived of his academic freedom as a UCLA faculty member to speak out against draconian diesel regulations approved by the California Air Resources Board in 2007 and 2008.”

The legislators ask the UCLA Chancellors in the letter for assurances that proper procedures have been followed by UCLA regarding Enstrom’s dismissal. They request that Enstrom “be allowed to retain his current faculty position until his appeal has been fully evaluated.”

In what turned out to be a mail order Ph.D., CARB employee Hien T. Tran was found to have lied about having a Ph.D. in statistics from University of California, Davis. But even with full knowledge of Tran’s phony credentials, in December 2008, CARB went ahead with the diesel emissions rules based on Tran’s report.

Logue’s letter identifies columnist Lois Henry as the source of Enstrom’s termination information only last weekend.

In the The Bakersfield Californian Saturday, Henry wrote, “Now, despite his 34 years as a researcher at UCLA, he’s being dumped by a secret vote of the faculty in the Environmental Health Sciences Department.” According to Henry, the official reason for not reappointing him stated, “Your research is not aligned with the academic mission of the Department.” A July 29 letter notified Enstrom that his appeal of an earlier dismissal letter had been denied and his last day would be Aug. 30.

Henry wrote, “The guy who’s getting sacked, James Enstrom, was one of only a few scientists willing to stick his neck out and blow the whistle on an outright fraud and coverup at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) over regulations that will squeeze every wallet in this state once they’re implemented.

Enstrom has been relentless, if not successful, in his efforts to get the air board to acknowledge that the science on the health effects of air pollution is not closed. Moreover, he has demanded that the process of science-based regulation be honest, open and fair.”

Logue agrees. As author of Proposition 23, the ballot initiative that would suspend California’s global warming legislation AB 32 from further implementation, Logue is going to put pressure on UCLA. If Dr. Enstrom is dismissed before his appeal has been fully evaluated, “We plan to hold a hearing in Sacramento on this matter,” wrote Logue. “In particular, we will allow Dr. Enstrom and others the opportunity to present evidence regarding academic freedom and scientific integrity at UCLA, particularly regarding the circumstances surrounding his dismissal.”

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