Dodgy "Scientist" Vanishes from EPA Conference Program
Ann Maest, a hired-gun scientist for environmental extremists seeking to shoot-down mining projects, has abruptly vanished from the program of an EPA-sponsored mining conference she was supposed to address Wednesday in Denver. A report in The Colorado Public Advocate strongly suggests that the heat Maest was drawing, for her alleged role in a conspiracy to doctor pollution data in connection with a long-running legal battle in South America, which in turn led her and her Colorado-based consulting firm to be named in an anti-corruption lawsuit, may have chased her from the program.
Conference organizers have been vague about the reasons Maest withdrew, after her name was included in early speakers lists, but the article seems to confirm that it wasn’t because she had a dentist appointment.
“A Boulder scientist accused of conspiring to fudge data in support of landmark litigation over oil drilling in the Amazon has pulled out of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conference in Denver this week amid a challenge to her credibility, including charges her research is tainted by an activist agenda.
Ann Maest, a geochemist and prominent environmental consultant featured in the controversial 2009 documentary, “Crude,” about the battle over drilling in the Amazon jungle of Ecuador, was going to make a presentation Wednesday at an EPA conference on hardrock mining but now will be replaced by a colleague from a Boulder consulting firm with which she is affiliated. Citing allegations from a federal racketeering lawsuit filed last year against Maest and the consulting firm as well others involved in the Amazon litigation, Maest’s critics have launched a national campaign against her planned appearance at the Denver EPA gathering.
Some of those critics still are planning to protest Wednesday’s event at the Renaissance Denver Hotel in northeast Denver despite Maest’s absence from the dais. The pro-growth advocacy group Americans for Prosperity-Colorado has announced it is organizing a noon rally at the conference site against the EPA’s “regulators and biased scientists,” which it accuses of killing jobs.
“Ann Maest and Stratus Consulting are poster children for the kind of questionable, agenda-driven science that federal regulators and their green allies outside government use to block energy production, increase consumer costs, kill jobs and smother the American economy,” the group’s director, Jeff Crank, said in a statement released for the event.
Conference organizers confirmed late last week that Maest had been replaced but were vague about the reasons for the switch as well as about who had initiated it. An event planner helping put on the conference said Maest “called and said she was not able to participate” but acknowledged “there have been discussions about her participation” in the wake of the campaign to dump her. An EPA official co-chairing the conference said Maest’s name was on an earlier draft agenda but contended that her colleague at Boulder-based Stratus Consulting, who will take her place, rightly should have been the one to attend the conference all along because he is principal author of the work that was going to be presented. The EPA’s David Reisman contends it was “through some confusion” that Maest’s name appeared on the earlier draft agenda.
Yet, Reisman also acknowledged his office had received emails from those urging the agency to dump Maest from the program.
“I did see one or two of a hundred that went to my laboratory director,” he said.
Maest did not respond to requests for a comment.”
The “Give Red Tape a Rest” protest will go on (follow this link for more details), despite Maest’s efforts to dodge potential questions and controversy. The slightly shady explanations for why she won’t be speaking shouldn’t surprise anyone, given the serious allegations she and her consulting firm face. But the fact that Strutus continues to enjoy prominant billing at an EPA-sponsored conference underscores the sometimes-dodgy nature of the “science” the agency uses to support its fearmongering and job-killing agenda.