CEI Urges House Science Committee to Investigate Stratus Consulting’s Work on EPA’s Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 1, 2013 – The Competitive Enterprise Institute has sent a letter to Representative Paul Broun asking him to investigate the involvement of Dr. Ann Maest of Stratus Consulting in the preparation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. Maest and Douglas Beltman, executive vice president of Stratus Consulting, admitted in sworn affidavits to a federal court earlier this year that they had provided fraudulent technical reports on behalf of the plaintiffs in the case brought in Ecuador against Chevron.

The Oversight Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Broun, will hold a hearing on the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment beginning at 1 PM today in room 2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The Assessment is critical to determining whether EPA will allow the proposed Pebble Mine project in Alaska to go forward.

“There are a number of troubling issues that will be raised by the witnesses at today’s hearing, but one that needs special focus is whether the Assessment has been tainted by its reliance in several key points on technical assessments by Dr. Maest and Stratus Consulting,” said Myron Ebell, Director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment.

In CEI’s letter to Chairman Broun, Ebell writes, “The fact that Dr. Maest and Stratus Consulting provided false expert assessments to a paying client naturally leads to the suspicion that this may not be the only instance in which they have done so. I would like to suggest that it would be appropriate for your subcommittee to investigate Stratus Consulting’s contracts with the EPA and other federal agencies with an eye to exposing similar fraudulent conduct.”

“Congress should consider banning future federal consulting contracts with Dr. Maest and Stratus consulting based on their admissions of preparing fraudulent reports in the Ecuador case,” Ebell concluded.

Under penalty of perjury, both Maest and Beltman admitted that their work for the plaintiffs’ attorneys in the case filed against Chevron in an Ecuador court was fraudulent. Both Maest and Beltman conclude their sworn affidavits: “I disavow any and all findings and conclusions in all of my reports and testimony on the Ecuador Project.”

CEI’s Resourceful Earth project asked concerned Americans to file comments on the EPA’s Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment during the public comment period, which ended on June 30th. More than 236,000 comments were filed as a result of Resourceful Earth’s efforts.

>> Read CEI’s letter to Chairman Broun here. The letter contains links to the affidavits of Maest and Beltman.