Thursday, December 16, 2010

Federal Judge rejects Federal enviromental "science" as "arbitrary and capricious"

The New York Times reports on an important partial victory for California farmers who have been suffering under an artificial government-caused drought for years: The full text of the judge Wanger's decision is here (PDF). In it, he writes:
It cannot be disputed that the law entitles the delta smelt to ESA protection. It is significant that the co-operator of the Projects, DWR [California's Dept. of Water Resources], in its endeavors to protect a substantial part of the State's water supply, opposes as unjustified and based on bad science some of the RPA [Reasonable & Prudent Alternative] Actions. It is equally significant that despite the harm visited on California water users, FWS [Fish & Wildlife Service] has failed to provide lawful explanations for the apparent over- appropriation of project water supplies for species protection. In view of the legislative failure to provide the means to assure an adequate water supply for both the humans and the species dependent on the Delta, the public cannot afford sloppy science and uni-directional prescriptions that ignore California's water needs. [Emph. added]
He continues slicing up various aspects of the environmental regulations. For example, he writes:
Because critical habitat conclusion 3(c) [see p.169 of opinion] explicitly relies upon the flawed analysis regarding the movement of X2 [the mixing point of delta outflow and eastuarine inflow], this conclusion is without support in the record and is arbitrary and capricious. Remand is required.
The environmentalists did win a few rounds. For example, Judge Wanger concluded:
FWS's use of a linear stock-recruit model, although scientifically criticized, was not arbitrary, capricious, or clear error.
Yes, you read that right. The Fish and Wildlife Service is not required to use the best science or even fairly good science. The legal standard is merely that it use "science" which is not "arbitrary and capricious" or a "clear error."

More at Gateway Pundit.

PREVIOUSLY on farmers protesting the government-caused drought:
Farmers protest in San Jose (Nov. 21, 2009).

PREVIOUSLY on politicized science:
The politicization of medical research funding
2 more examples of politicized science: Gulf oiil spill and California's air regulations
AIDS advocates distorted science
Politicized science of crime statistics
Politicization of medical science
Bee colony collapse disorder: the cause is whatever your politics say it is
Ozone hole and politics

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