EPA Public Comments

There are over 11,000 public comments on the EPA's attempt to regulate CO2. (Probably well over 500,000 when the petitions are included.) I have obviously not read them all, but there are a few patterns I thought worth noting.

As of 11-24-09, the EPA is still accepting and posting new comments. the current count is 11,532.

I have particularly enjoyed reading the comments from people who do not claim an association with any particular group. For the vast majority, it is clear that they are using some kind of form letter. The tip off is that 2 or 3 sentences are identical in many of them. It is also interesting that many of these are either hand written or typed on paper. (The pdf's are scanned images.) A great many of them are stamped with "Jun 12 2009", which probably means that that was when the EPA started handling paper comments.

For Regulation

A comment - there are a few single page letters that have the same titlepage logo - a blue globe. The first few of these had the same first paragraph and a monochrome globe. The ones with the blue globe tend to have unique text.

I assume that these come from some type of campaign ... perhaps a form you can fill out on line and send. These are organizations associated with this letter head.

Online Instant Form Letters

I noticed a few patterns when reading the comments, similar formatting, identical first paragraphs, and so forth. Eventually, I noticed the following in some of the title blocks. Well, a little investigation uncovered the Sierra Club Global Warming Campaign with a link to Take Action - a page of various positions that the Sierra Club is supporting. Unfortunately, the one for this docket is not there, but the others link to pages where you can enter your name and address. An initial first paragraph is hard coded and there is a box where you can type whatever you want.

That's right, the nicely typed, similar format, identical first paragraph responses really are form letters after all.

In addition, these organizations have names, address, and emails for future uses (sometimes you can opt out).

The National Wildlife Federation pages were significantly harder to find. This looks like the identical software that the Sierra Club uses ... except that they allow you to edit the entire text.

Observations regarding online form letters

Therefore, some of the canned text may (or may not) appear. These are a few identifying sentences from the canned text. Similar online petitions are also available. This would explain why petitions contain typed names, addresses, and comments.

I understand why large national activist groups (like the Sierra Club and the National Wildlife Federation) provide form letters. But cell phone companies and independent activists seem a little weird.

Against Regulation

Bad Science

The science in some of these letters is so bad a study should be done to see if the schools are really this bad or if something else is going on. (Like intentional disinformation)

Misdirected Comments

I keep seeing public comments that don't seem appropriate. I assume that these are form letters from some clueless activist site.


Author: Robert Clemenzi
URL: http:// questionable-science.com / Global_Warming / EPA_Comments / Public_Comments.html