Showing posts with label pollution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pollution. Show all posts

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Quotes of the Week


“I fear that the danger of plastic bags is much exaggerated”  [Former sacked prime minister & Liberal MP for Warringah Tony Abbott quoted in The Guardian on the subject of plastics polluting the environment, 6 October 2018]

 “A key architect of the landmark Paris climate deal has lambasted the Coalition government’s inaction on greenhouse gas emissions, saying it “goes against the science”, squanders economic opportunity and risks Australia’s international standing. Laurence Tubiana, a respected French diplomat and economist, also says Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s claim that Australia will meet its Paris targets “at a canter” is contradicted by international scientific opinion.”  [Journalist Nicole Hasham in The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 October 2018]


“To me this particular event seems to show the Liberal party has been taken over frankly by extremists on the hard right who aren’t particularly motivated to win elections and aren’t particularly motivated to serve the public. They’re just motivated by a crazy agenda.”  [Alexander Turnbull, son of deposed Liberal prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in The Guardian, 11 October 2018]

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Yet another opportunistic mining exploration company has the Clarence Valley in its sights: Public Meeting 2.30pm on 13 September 2018 at Grafton Regional Library


Having received approval from the NSW mining regulator in June 2018 Castillo Copper Limited (CCZ) has proceeded with its exploratory drilling program with a view to establishing an open cut mine at Cangai in the Clarence Valley.

Castillo Copper Limited image
This small West Australian base metal exploration company may be operating on a shoestring budget and currently trade at only $0.039 per ordinary share, however an open cut mine so close to the Mann River means that the greed of Messrs. Peter Meagher, Peter Smith And Alan Armstrong has the potential to severely damage the Clarence River system.

There is to be a community meeting and Clarence Valley residents are urged to attend:

2 hrs · 
Goodbye Mann and Clarence Rivers if this gets approval. The plan is to open cut mine and that involves removing a large hill and metal extraction usually involves highly polluting chemicals. This is no win for the Valley. It is a disaster. A meeting is being held at the Clarence Regional Library in Grafton at 2.30 PM on Thursday September 13 to discuss this threat to the Rivers. All welcome.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Supermarket giant Coles’ “bagflip’’ did not go down well and the company was stopped in its tracks


This was typical of the response to the Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd end of July 2018 announcement that is was indefinitely suspending a full ban on the use of free plastic shopping bags in its stores.

The Daily Examiner, 2 August 2018, p.13:

Supermarket giant Coles’ “bagflip’’ in continuing to hand out free reusable plastic bags is a perplexing move.

After spending the past month getting its customers used to the idea there would be no more single-use bags, Coles management has caved in to the tantrums of some customers unable to get their head around the notion of doing something to help the environment or pay up.

Not surprisingly the environmentalists are outraged.

For a start the so-called reusable plastic bags are just a step up from the tissue-thin, single-use bags clogging landfill and choking marine wildlife.

The smart thing about the proposed bag ban was that the supermarket was using a price signal to reinforce the change, a language its bargain-hunting customers were sure to understand.

No longer.

The customer has come first, ahead of the environment, good planning and common sense.

Without a price tag, customers are going to treat the reusable bags just like the old ones, which will add a splash of colour to the litter.

It has the same logic as trying to improve a child’s behaviour by giving in to its demand.

The “child” in this case does spend millions of dollars in your store, but with Woolworths continuing to charge the 15 cents for resuable bags, shoppers didn‘t have many options.

Twitter 1-2 August 2018:




By midday on 2 August 2018 Coles reversed its backflip and set a new deadline for stores - 29 August 2018 is now the deadline for handouts of free reusable plastic shopping bags.

Hopefully by the beginning of 2019 even reuseable plastic bags will no longer be available for purchase.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Five to face Brisbane court over serious breaches of environmental law


It is thought that up to 320 square kilometres of agricultural land around Chinchilla may be at risk from contamination by chemicals and gases, due to alleged mismanagement of underground burning by Linc Energy Limited.

In November  2016 former Linc Energy chief executive Peter Bond along with four former staff members – Donald Schofield (managing director), Stephen Dumble (chief operations officer), Jacobus Terblanche (chief operations manager) and Darryl Rattai (former general manager) – were summonsed for breaching environmental law.

However their matters were adjoined until after The Queen v. Linc Energy Ltd was concluded and are all five are now due to face a committal hearing in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this month.

BRIEF BACKGROUND

ABC News, 11 May 2018:

A gas company has been fined a record $4.5 million for causing serious environmental harm at its underground coal gasification plant on Queensland's western Darling Downs.

Linc Energy was found guilty by a District Court jury in Brisbane last month after a 10-week trial.

The company was charged with five counts of wilfully and unlawfully causing serious environmental harm between 2007 and 2013 at Hopeland near Chinchilla.

Linc Energy mismanaged the underground burning of coal seams, which caused rock to fracture and allowed the escape of toxic gases which contaminated the air, soil and water on site.

The court heard the highest fine imposed upon a company so far in Queensland for similar offending was $500,000.

Linc Energy did not defend itself during the trial because it is now in liquidation.
Five executive directors have been charged with failing to ensure compliance of the company and are due to face a committal hearing in the Brisbane Magistrates Court in July.

Prosecutor Ralph Devlin told the court the company knew it was causing damage but pressed ahead with operations, and described its offending as "serious".

"The defendant acted in devious and cavalier way … its motivation was commercial gain," he said.

"It pursued commercial interests over environmental safeguards."

The court heard there would be monitoring and remediation of the site for decades to come, and it will take potentially between 10 to 20 years for groundwater to recover.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 April 2018:

“It was an undefended case, the liquidators chose not to defend it, so, of course, there is going to be a guilty verdict,’’ he [Peter Bond] told The Australian of Monday's court ruling.

“It means nothing; there was no one in court to call bullshit and there was a lot of bullshit to that case."

Excerpt from THE QUEEN v. LINC ENERGY LTD (IN LIQUIDATION), 11 May 2018, Sentence:

HIS HONOUR: On the 9th of April 2018, Linc Energy Limited in liquidation was found guilty by a jury of five counts of wilfully and unlawfully causing serious environmental harm. That followed a 10-week trial, and the offence is contained in the Environmental Protection Act. There was no appearance by the defendant in in  liquidation pursuant to an order of the Supreme Court under the Corporations Law. The liquidators did not have to appear. That caused particular difficulties during the trial and also has an impact on sentence proceedings as I have not been assisted by any submissions on behalf of the defendant in relation to penalty.

As the defendant is a corporation, the only penalties that are open are financial: either a fine or compensation. The provision in relation to the imposition of fines is covered by sections 45 to 48 of the Penalties and Sentences Act. The first aspect of that is that, pursuant to section 48(1)(a) and (b) and subsection (2) of that Penalties and Sentences Act, the Court must take into account:

 …so far as is practicable, the financial circumstances of the offender and the nature of the burden the imposition of the fine would have on the offender.

Section 48, subsection (2) provides the Court may fine if it is unable to find out the  matters referred to in subsection (1). There is no information before me as to the circumstances of the liquidation of the corporation. I am unaware of any of its assets or liabilities, or whether it will have the capacity to pay fines. As to the utility of imposing a financial penalty on a corporation in liquidation, there are no restrictions in law as to that. Indeed, the cases referred to me demonstrate it is appropriate, 25 whether as a need for denunciation or general deterrence of specific criminal conduct…..

In relation to counts 1 to 3, a combination of section 437 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and 45 section 181B of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 provides a maximum penalty of five times the 4165 penalty units, that is, a total of 1,561,875 thousand dollars for each of the offences covered in counts 1 to 3……

In my view, the defendant put its commercial interests well above its duty to conduct its processes in a way that safeguarded the environment. This is shown by its continued efforts to be seen as a successful Gas to Liquid producer on a commercial scale, where it operated gasifiers clearly above hydrostatic pressure to produce suitable gas for the GTL process, well knowing that contaminants were escaping widely and that damage to the land structure was occurring. As I have noted during the course of argument, there are varying degrees of wilfulness, which is an element of each offence.

The Prosecution have submitted that the appropriate way to approach the quantum is 45 by assessing the maximum and then reaching an appropriate proportion to address each offence. In terms of the section I earlier quoted in relation to the quantum of  fines, it seems to me the damage occasioned by each of these offences is significant and needs to be taken into account in the calculation of a quantum. In relation to each of counts 1 to 3, I accept the Prosecution’s submission that it is appropriate to impose 50 per cent of the maximum in relation to those.

In relation to each of counts 4 and 5, as I have noted, there are aggravating features. The defendant was well aware of the problems with the site and proceeded in disregard of its own experts. They had clearly advised the site was unsuitable because of the earlier gasifier operations; however, the defendant persisted simply 10 on a commercial basis.

In relation to the final count, the defendant purposely hid the issue of groundwater contamination from the regulator. I accept the Prosecution’s submission that fines in relation to each of those later offences should be at 75 per cent of the maximum.
I intend to reduce each of those fines to recognise the totality issues that I have spoken about, including the interplay between each offence and the damage that has actually been occasioned. On each of counts 1, 2 and 3, I fine the defendant the sum of $700,000. On each of counts 4 and 5, I fine the defendant the sum of $1,200,000. Convictions are recorded. The Prosecution does not seek its costs in relation to this Prosecution.

Friday, 6 July 2018

A CERTAIN RMS ASPHALT BATCHING PLANT: Open Letter to NSW Premier & Liberal MP for Willoughby, Gladys Berejiklian, as well as Minister for Roads Maritime and Freight & Nationals MP for Oxley, Melinda Pavey


Dear Premier Berejiklian and Minister Pavey,

Communities in the Clarence River estuary are concerned about an aspect of the NSW Government's current Pacific Highway construction planning.

Below are some of those concerns expressed to local newspaper The Daily Examiner with regard to a Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) plan to install a temporary asphalt batching plant at Woombah on the Clarence River flood plain.

The build is scheduled to start this month and the plant will operate for the next two and a half years.

Please note the attitude – local residents are not amused at the high-handed way in which the NSW Government and RMS went about a cursory declaration of intent.

“What they’re not happy about is an asphalt batching plant being built right near their houses, using their only connecting road to the villages”

“We want the highway, and we want the asphalt plant to be somewhere, but we want it to be away from our communities where it won’t impact on our health and safety”

“The plant will add a reported 500 truck moments and 100 car movements per day at peak, or one every minute, and residents are concerned the additional traffic will create safety problems, and a bottleneck at their intersection, which they already describe as “tight” after it was temporarily re-routed. They also cite concerns over possible health affects the dust may cause for nearby residents.”

We have a resident as close as 450 metres from the plant who is suffering from lung cancer….Although Pacific Complete have been made aware of this, since they were first told they have failed to take action to acknowledge her.”

“We live within one kilometre of the plant and we found out two weeks ago by letterbox drop”

“We found out last Wednesday they didn’t tell anyone else. We’ve been around to other residents who are just outside the area and they had no idea the plant was coming at all.”

I also draw your attention to the content of emails coming out of Iluka:

Woombah is surrounded by World Heritage National Park. Within the waterways affected by run off from the proposed asphalt plant is the organic Solum Farm. Woombah Coffee will also be affected. Not to mention the multiple organic gardners who sell at the Yamba Markets and those who grow their own food.

The small community of Woombah and its neighbour Iluka are places that welcome tourists for the natural and clean beauty of the environment. An asphalt plant WILL threaten that. 

In addition, the Esk River at Woombah is fed by many of the creeks and waterways in the bushland where the asphalt plant is proposed. They will be adversely affected, which will flow into the Esk which will flow into the Clarence which will affect the fishing, oyster and prawn industries, on which many make their living. Not to mention the tourist industry that survives because our area offers a clean environment with unpolluted air and water.

This proposal is an outrage. Teven said NO. Woombah says NO as well.​”

“What about our kids on school buses with no seatbelts and the increase in traffic particularly trucks”

“Iluka Naturally, turn off at the asphalt plant, how ironic.”

For my own part I would add to these expressions of concern the fact that the 80ha, NPWS-managed Mororo Creek Nature Reserve is only est. 98 metres from the western end of the southern boundary of the proposed asphalt batching site. 

This protected land parcel is one of the reserves which form part of a forested corridor linking Bundjalung National Park to the east and the protected areas of the Richmond Range to the west. It lies within the boundaries of the Yaegl Local Aboriginal Land Council area, the Clarence Valley Local Government Area and the Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority.

The Mororo Creek Reserve conserves areas of endangered swamp sclerophyll forest, coastal saltmarsh, subtropical coastal floodplain forest and swamp oak floodplain forest.

Most importantly, Mororo Creek and several of its tributaries which run through this reserve empty into the Clarence River Estuary less than est. 2km from the proposed asphalt batching site.

Now I have no idea why the NSW Government decided that a brief three-page information sheet and invitation to comment published online at http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/projects/northern-nsw/woolgoolga-to-ballina/w2b-woombah-batch-plant-notification-2018-06.pdf was to be the limit of its community consultation effort or why a similar document was sent at short notice to such a small number of Woombah residents.

I don’t pretend to understand why the information sheet contained just one small image of a section of a Pillar Valley temporary asphalt batching plant with no description of typical batching plant infrastructure and no Woombah site layout plan at all, much less one to scale.

There was not a hint in the information sheet of the range of known issues which can arise during site construction, plant operation and site rehabilitation.

Those residents who were originally invited to comment were supplied with less than rudimentary information on which to assess the desirability of a batching plant on the designated site.

Given that the proposed Woombah asphalt batching plant site is est. 2 to 2.5kms as the crow flies from Clarence River estuary waters which:

(1) are covered by Yaegl Native Title;

(2) at certain points are covered by international treaties, including JAMBA, CAMBA, ROKAMBA;

(3) contain the second largest area of seagrass (83 ha), the largest area of mangroves (765 ha) and the third largest area of saltmarsh (290ha) in the northern rivers region [Williams et al 2006 in Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan 2010];

(4) are part of the largest combined river-ocean fishery in NSW containing high fisheries value marine species; and

(5) are a vital component of regional tourism, 

perhaps Premier Berejiklian and Minister Pavey can answer two vital questions.

1. Is the Woombah asphalt batching plant site above the 100 year flood level for the lower Clarence Valley flood plain?

Because if it is not, then the NSW Government’s cavalier attitude to flood risk management would potentially see toxic waste from asphalt batching flow into the Clarence River estuary during a flood event – including solid waste and any organic solvents/hydrocarbons captured in holding ponds for the life of the plant – along with any nearby excavated plant/road construction materials. After all, extreme flood event height predictions for that general area are 3.5 to 4.5 mAHD.

2. Why on earth was a decision made to site the asphalt batching plant and access road at a point along the Pacific Highway where it would cause the maximum damage to Iluka’s clean, green destination image and vital tourism trade?

When the NSW Government first mooted the Pacific Highway upgrade on the North Coast one of the advantages it canvassed was an increase in tourism numbers due to better road conditions.


Most of these visitors holidayed along the Clarence Coast and Iluka is a strong component of that coastal tourism.

If the NSW Government seriously believes that leaving Woombah-Iluka with only one safe, unimpeded access point for day, weekend and long-stay visitors, the Yamba to Iluka foot passenger only ferry, will not significantly affect tourism numbers over the course of two and a half years, one has to wonder if it bothered to investigate the issue at all before signing off on the proposed plant site.

The effect of siting the asphalt batching plant and access road on the designated site will in all likelihood have the effect of diminishing not growing tourism traffic to Iluka for a period beyond the years it actually takes to complete the Maclean to Devil’s Pulpit section of the highway upgrade, as visitor perception of a holiday area can change when industrial level activity becomes visually prominent.

When it comes to commitment to the community consultation process, the NSW Government obviously hasn’t insisted that Roads and Maritime Services live up to its undertaking to engage with communities to understand their needs and consider these when making decisions.

In fact, looking at satellite images of the site one cannot escape the suspicion that pre-construction ground preparation had already commenced before any information was sent out to selected Woombah residents.

Since news of the asphalt batching plan site reached the Lower Clarence and residents began to approach their local state member, there appears to have been a promise made to hold a "drop-in information session" at an unspecified date.

Having experienced NSW departmental drop-in information sessions, I am well aware that they are of limited value as purveyors of anything other that the meagre degree of information found in the aforementioned three page RMS document and, ineffectual as vehicles for genuine community consultation.

The people of Woombah and Iluka deserve better.  They deserve a formal information night which canvasses all the issues, with representatives from RMS and the Pacific Highway project team prepared to address concerns and answer questions, as well as representatives of both the Premier and Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight in attendance as observers.

I’m sure that all residents and business owners in both Woombah and Iluka would appreciate both Premier and Minster taking the time to consider these questions and ensure government genuinely consults with both village communities before considering proceeding with any Roads and Maritime Servces site proposal.

Sincerely,


Clarence  Girl

Monday, 2 July 2018

Yet another 'temporary' asphalt batching plant rears its ugly head - this time at Woombah in the Clarence Valley


It would appear that the Berejiklian Government is about to wish a temporary asphalt batching plant on the Lower Clarence River flood plain.

Running for two and a half years day and night.

Two years of bitumen odour from the holding tanks, lime dust from the silo, diesel fumes from the generator, sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides releasing during productionall wafting on the breeze - along with the never ending rumble of dusty heavy trucks belching exhaust fumes.

Then a cleanup of the toxic waste left behind.

With not even the courtesy of a genuine community consultation.


Australian and NSW Government-RMS, June 2018:

The Australian and NSW governments are jointly funding the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade. Roads and Maritime Services’ Pacific Highway Project Office, Pacific Complete and its contractor partners are working together to deliver the upgrade.

To build the upgrade, the project team will be establishing batch plants along the 155 kilometre route. These sites will have different functions and will support the building of the new road.

The project team is proposing to build a temporary asphalt batch plant at Woombah. The batch plant would be located on the eastern side of the existing highway about 700 metres north of the old Iluka Road turnoff. A map has been provided to show the proposed location of the temporary asphalt batch plant.

This facility would make asphalt for the upgrade between Maclean and Devils Pulpit. Batch plants are facilities where raw materials are brought in, mixed together and then loaded into trucks and transported to site for use.

If approved, we would start building this site in July, with the batch plant operational by mid-August 2018. This site is proposed to be operational for about two and a half years with the land to be rehabilitated after completion in line with the project’s conditions of approval…..

There would be up to 500 heavy vehicle movements and 100 light vehicle movements per day at peak…..

Typically work would be carried out during the project’s approved construction hours which are:
9am -  6pm Monday – Friday
8am – 5pm Saturday

In areas where residents live more than 200 metres from the work area, extended work hours are allowed between 6am and 7am and 6pm and 7pm from Monday to Friday. Additionally, work outside or normal construction hours is also allowed where the impact to residents is predicted to be low, including no greater increase in noise levels than 5 decibels above the existing background noise level. 

The batch plant would need to be operational whenever asphalting work is required on the road. To minimise the impact on the Pacific Highway and ensure the work sites are safe, some of this work would be carried out at night. The temporary batch plant would need to operate at night to support these activities. Residents would be notified in advance of this taking place.

We are seeking your feedback on the proposed building and operation of the temporary asphalt batch plant at Woombah. To have your say, please fill out the attached feedback form by Wednesday 4 July 2018.

You can return it by:


Alternatively, you can provide your feedback over the phone by calling 1800 778 900 (toll free).

Google Earth snapshot of Woombah site and surrounding land, an est. 2.5kms as the crow flies from the Clarence River estuary and est. 1km from residential dwellings.


Woombah batching site boundaries.


The Daily Examiner, Letter to the Editor, 29 June 2018, p. 9:

Iluka Road problems
THE safety of Iluka road users is being put at risk by increasing truck movements to an additional 500 truck and trailers as well as 100 cars per day. That’s an additional truck or car travelling on Iluka road at a rate of one every 50 seconds! A situation that will continue for two and a half years.
The NSW Government has put out a letter seeking feedback on a proposed asphalt batch plant at Woombah for the Pacific Highway Upgrade from Mororo to Devils Pulpit.
However speaking with other locals in the Woombah area I found out quickly that very few residents of Woombah, let alone IIluka have received this letter. It is something that will affect all the 2500 residents of Iluka/Woombah area, as well as tourists and service vehicles. The letter has only just been sent out, but the site is already being prepared. Another case of community consultation and feedback after the fact, and the decision has been made!
The new temporary turn off from Iluka Rd onto the highway is already a difficult and dangerous turn-off because of the short turning lanes, additional turns and give way signs. Along with increased truck movements and road blockages associated with the construction of the Iluka road overpass, the dangers associated with navigating this entrance and exit to Iluka Road has increased.
Now all the traffic for an asphalt batching plant is to also travel on Garretts Lane, coming from the Old Pacific Highway and crossing Iluka Rd onto this new temporary turn-off.
This will cause traffic congestion problems for all Iluka Rd users. It will create further problems entering and exiting the highway. It will increase that danger of motor vehicle collisions and possible injury. We must stand up for the safety of our loved ones, our children, and for the many families who holiday here.
Locating the batching plant where it has its own dedicated access road to the highway, one which could adequately accommodate this large number of truck movements is the only sufficient solution. They should not be placed on busy local roads.
There are several areas, including Mororo Rd, which have already been blocked to public access, which could easily be fitted out for this purpose without endangering people.
Also with the plant being on the Western side of the Pacific Highway, these fully loaded trucks that are all going north will not have to cross the busy Pacific Highway but instead only need to merge with traffic. This would also solve the problem
Davild Wilson, Iluka

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Where the Trump Regime goes the far-right in Australia's Turnbull Government are sure to follow


Emboldened by the Heartland Institute's capture of the US Trump Government, I suspect that Australia will see a renewed push by one of the compatriots of this American lobby group  - the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) - to further wind back federal and state environmental protections.

The IPA already has an uncomfortably close relationship with the Turnbull Government as a number of its members are within its ranks.

This is the current state of play in the United States.

DeSmog Blog, 29 May 2018:

A lawsuit filed in March by the Southern Environmental Law Center and Environmental Defense Fund has revealed new levels of coordination between Scott Pruitt's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the climate science-denying think tank the Heartland Institute.

The EPA had repeatedly failed to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests by the two groups, which resulted in the lawsuit and subsequent release of the email communications.

However, both the EPA and the Heartland Institute have strongly defended their actions revealed by the newly released emails. EPA spokesperson Lincoln Ferguson told the Associated Press that communications with the Heartland Institute helped “to ensure the public is informed” and that this relationship “… demonstrates the agency’s dedication to advancing President Trump’s agenda of environmental stewardship and regulatory certainty.”

The current head of the Heartland Institute is former Congressman Tim Huelskamp who also was quick to defend the relationship.

“Of course The Heartland Institute has been working with EPA on policy and personnel decisions,” Tim Huelskamp said in a statement to AP. “They recognized us as the pre-eminent organization opposing the radical climate alarmism agenda and instead promoting sound science and policy.”

In March Huelskamp wrote a piece in The Hill titled “Scott Pruitt is leading the EPA toward greatness,” in which he made it quite clear that the reason for this greatness was that “Trump and Pruitt share an understanding that climate change is not a significant threat to the prosperity and health of Americans.”

While in Congress, Huelskamp’s top donor was Koch Industries, the massive petrochemical empire owned by the conservative billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David.

However, this latest revelation is unlikely to derail Pruitt’s career at the EPA. Pruitt is currently the subject of at least ten investigations. At a scathing hearing in April, he was told by one Congressman that “you are unfit to hold public office and undeserving of the public trust.”
Still, Pruitt remains the embattled chief of the nation's top environmental agency under Trump, and, perhaps not surprisingly, President Donald Trump has been supportive of Pruitt……
Like his boss, Pruitt is quick to blame the media for his problems.

“Much of what has been targeted towards me and my team, has been half-truths, or at best stories that have been so twisted they do not resemble reality,” Pruitt said in his opening remarks to Congress during the April hearing. “I'm here and I welcome the chance to be here to set the record straight in these areas. But let's have no illusions about what's really going on here.”….

Supported by funding from the Koch network, Heartland has been actively spreading disinformation about climate science for years.

What the latest EPA emails reveal is the extent which these Koch-funded climate deniers are now in direct communication with the EPA and helping influence policy. 
One email from John Konkus, EPA’s deputy associate administrator for public affairs, assures Heartland's then-president Joseph Bast that “If you send a list, we will make sure an invitation is sent.”

The list refers to Heartland’s recommendations for economists and scientists that the EPA would invite to a public hearing on science standards. Under Trump and Pruitt, climate science deniers are now hand-picking who advises the EPA on climate change science….

Read the full blog post here.

BACKGROUND

 DeSmog Blog, undated:

May 16 - 18, 2010

The Institute of Public Affairs was a cosponsor (PDF) of the Heartland Institute's Fourth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC4). [28]

DeSmogBlog concluded 19 of the 65 sponsors (including Heartland itself) had received a total of over $40 million in funding since 1985 from ExxonMobil (who funded 13 of the organizations), and/or Koch Industries family foundations (funded 10 organizations) and/or the Scaife family foundations (funded 10 organizations). [29]
October 1, 2010

Together, the Heartland InstituteAmericans for Tax Reform, the Property Rights Alliance, and the Institute of Public Affairs sponsored the Heartland Institute's Fifth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC5) in Sydney, Australia. [30]

The Conversation, 6 June 2016:

A group of prominent Melbourne businessmen founded the IPA in 1943 in the wake of the United Australia Party-Country Party coalition’s devastating election loss.

Inaugural chairman G.J. Coles (founder of the Coles supermarket chain) outlined the IPA’s approach. He said it:

… did not wish to be directly involved in politics, but it wanted to help create a modern political faith, which would be constructive and progressive and which would receive a large measure of public support.

Concerned the Labor Party was leading Australia down a path of central planning and socialism, the IPA set out to develop and promote an alternative vision. To that end it published a 70-page pamphlet titled Looking Forward: “a post-war policy for Australian industry”.

One person paying close attention was Robert Menzies, who in 1944 described the pamphlet as:

… the finest statement of basic political and economic problems made in Australia for many years.

Many of the policies outlined in Looking Forward were incorporated into the platform of the Liberal Party, founded the following year.

Though the IPA and the Liberal Party were characterised in their early decades by a mildly Keynesian, interventionist approach to the economy, since the 1980s both have switched to a more hardline neoliberal philosophy – embracing free markets, lower taxes and trickle-down economics.

Shared personnel

David and Rod Kemp, sons of the IPA’s founder and driving force C.D. “Ref” Kemp, became key figures in both the IPA and the Liberal Party.

David wrote his honours thesis on the founding of the IPA, then combined an academic career with stints advising Malcolm Fraser before entering parliament in 1990. Rod took over and revitalised the IPA in 1982 before he was elected to the Senate, also in 1990. Both were ministers in the Howard government.

Former Liberal MP and leading economic “dry” John Hyde ran the IPA from 1991 to 1995, before being replaced by Mike Nahan, who is now treasurer in the Western Australian Liberal government....

When Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt was found to have breached Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act in 2011, the IPA was outraged and immediately launched a campaign to repeal the offending section.

A full-page advertisement was taken out in The Australian. It included the names of senior Liberals such as Jamie Briggs, Michaelia Cash, Mathias Cormann, Mitch Fifield, Nick Minchin and Andrew Robb.