Reason TV: The Green Regulation Machine—Saving the Planet or Killing Jobs?


When Dwayne Whitney started his trucking business decades ago he had only one truck. Today he has eighteen and 20 employees. But that's about to change.

"The State of California says my trucks are killing people," says Whitney. "What do you say to that?"

In a few years, new air quality regulations approved by the California Air Resources Board will render Whitney's entire fleet illegal.

"New CARB rules are putting me out of business," he says.

CARB claims that diesel particulates, a type of pollution emitted from buses and trucks, contributes to 2,000 premature deaths in California each year. But UCLA epidemiologist Dr. James Enstrom says the number should be closer to zero.

In 2005 Enstrom authored an extensive study that found no relationship between diesel particulates and premature deaths. He says his study, as well as other evidence that agrees with it, have been ignored by an agency bent on passing ever more stringent regulations regardless of their effect on California's economy.

Enstrom blew the whistle on CARB for, among other things, failing to publicize that the lead author of the study that was used to justify the new regulations falsified his education history (he purchased his PhD from an online diploma mill).

But UCLA didn't come to Enstrom's defense. In fact, officials informed him that, after 34 years at the university, he was out of a job.

"The environmental regulation machine in powerful in California," says Adam Kissel of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which is defending Enstrom in the fight to keep his job. "When Dr. Enstrom went up against that machine he was retaliated against."

A hearing that begins on April 4 will determine whether Dr. Enstrom keeps his job, and the final decision rests with UCLA Chancellor Gene Block.

Says Kissel, "If Dr. Enstrom loses his job because he exercised his academic freedom, then it's a message to other researchers that you'd better not rock the boat because you might be next."

Approximately 9 minutes.

"The Green Regulation Machine" is written and produced by Ted Balaker. Field Producer: Paul Detrick; Camera: Alex Manning, Hawk Jensen, Josh Swain, Austin Bragg.

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  1. After 34 years, he still doesn’t have tenure?

  2. It killed jobs everywhere else it was tried, why wouldn’t it kill jobs here?

    Once again, ideology trumps reality.

  3. tell you Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the party holds to be truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party.

  4. I heard Mr. Balaker on the Ed Morrisey Show. The CARB is just gobsmackingly stupid, dishonest and venal. It seems to see its job as making California’s economy worse at a time when it’s already a disaster.

  5. “the lead author of the study that was used to justify the new regulations falsified his education history (he purchased his PhD from an online diploma mill).”

    The real travesty is that this story came out and got no traction at all- the people of California simply don’t care, I guess.

  6. Californians, by and large, rarely think past the headline or the soundbite. Corporations are bad, and anything that punishes them for destroying the environment is good. Why we’re still the 8th leading economy in the world, I just can’t fathom.

  7. Dr Michael Siegel, a professor at Boston University, made several posts on his blog last year about the Enstrom ordeal.


  8. Hex on everyone. Right, so ok it looks like the green lobby, if you could call a group of professors in one state a lobby, messed up. Just as a matter of being Devil’s advocate though, the life per se of this trucking business owner is not one truly worth having. How long has he been in business? And he has what he makes sound like zero assets to fall back on to invest in new equipment, no plan with how to deal with this issue. Being in business all these years, and he cant go in and finance some newer trucks, or trucks that run on NG or something? He’s been giving himself away for free all these years, getting taken to the cleaners by his financiers and customers. If it wasn’t this issue, it would be another. Having said that, I don’t know why there would not have been a 10 year phase out of these older vehicles, with a ban on new ones. Maybe it was unworkable, who knows. Yes, this story is the scandal, but the environment is the war. People that do not save a penny for a rainy day are not the engines of the economy.

  9. Mr. Tran bought his fake PhD from Thornhill University, according to various web sources. I recently retired as Oregon’s degree fraud investigator, and I know that use of a Thornhill degree in Oregon is a criminal offense. It is also illegal in many other states, including Washington, Nevada, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey and Virginia.

    It is unfortunately still legal to use a fake degree as a credential in California. Perhaps the legislators who want a hearing on the Enstrom case will also hold one on the need for better laws governing the use of degrees.

  10. I don’t know if this adds anything of importance to the discussion, but I Googled Enstrom’s name and discovered that his own studies have been cited for flaws. Perhaps, his job is threatened by his own lack of integrity…I don’t know for sure, I’m just putting it out there.

    1. What a pointless comment on your part. Cited by whom and for what flaws?

  11. The state of CA is cutting the budget of the UC system by millions of dollars. And with good reason too. If a prestigious school such as UCLA is backing pseudo science that CARB uses, then I say the UC system *deserves* to lose more money!

  12. This movie has some nike sb skunk dunks for sale of the same flaws I saw in another attempt at a faithful adaptation of a work of fantastic literature long thought unfilmable, Zach Snyder’s 2009 version of Watchmen…That is, it kobe 7 for sale struck me as a series of filmed recreations of scenes from the famous novel

  13. A hearing that begins on April 4 will determine whether Dr. Enstrom keeps his job, and the final decision rests with UCLA Chancellor Gene Block.

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