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John C. Lamb: Leeds School served as ‘credible’ source

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

Letter to the Editor,

Boulder Daily Camera 

April 20, 2020

John C. Lamb: Leeds School served as ‘credible’ source 

It is unfortunate that the University of Colorado is closing the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research. The Center is housed in and works with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. The Center was initiated in 2001 to create “usable research” for public and private decision makers. Given our current president is not known as holding science in high regard, wouldn’t it seem that we really need CSTPR? Remember that CIRES/NOAA published a peer-reviewed study (2014) that concluded that 55% of volatile organic compounds linked to ground level ozone pollution came from oil and gas activity. Ground level ozone can be harmful to humans. The tower near Erie where the data was gathered was torn down shortly after the study. Joel Dyer’s Jan. 17 investigative report in the Boulder Weekly, “Behind the Curtain,” explained how the oil and gas industry needed “credible” economic analyses to fight the rising opposition to fracking that five Front Range cities had registered with bans and moratoriums. The Republican Party front group Common Sense Policy Roundtable found that “credible” source in the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business. They contracted with Leeds behind the scene. It took Dyer’s CORA request to uncover the details. Leeds got to use an expensive economic program called REMI for free; but Common Sense Policy Roundtable owned and controlled all the REMI research results. Then Leeds published reports that supported the Roundtable’s claims. Common Sense Policy Roundtable wanted us to believe that “the sky will fall, the economy will collapse and most children will go hungry if oil companies can’t stick rigs in the middle of our neighborhoods” according to Dyer. Leeds’ reports fit perfectly with pro-oil groups CRED, VITAL, and former governor John Hickenlooper, a former oil and gas geologist. CU/Leeds’ deep connection to the oil and gas industry negates their claim of credibility. John C. Lamb Lafayette 

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