Emails obtained via the Freedom of Information Act confirm that China-owned Volvo Trucks conspired with Obama-holdover EPA career staff to destroy the glider truck industry. This should also be embarrassing news for reporters like the New York Times’ Eric Lipton and the Los Angeles Times’ Evan Halper who wittingly or unwittingly have been propagandizing for Volvo against gliders under the guise of journalism.
Before discussing the emails, keep in mind that these are clearly only some of the emails and communications between Volvo, others in the new truck industry and EPA staff.
Under EPA FOIA procedures, staff is asked by the FOIA office to produce email relevant to FOIA requests. So staff can easily withhold and/or destroy email they don’t want anyone to see.
EPA FOIA staff does not produce these files from some a central server that contains all e-mails. So we are only seeing a portion of the communications — nevertheless, the conspiracy between Volvo and EPA staff is revealed.
Here we go.
Background. In October 2016, after being lobbied by the new truck industry led by Volvo Trucks, the Obama EPA issued a rule that essentially banned glider trucks. In order to issue the rule, the Obama EPA had bogusly classified gliders as “new” trucks so that gliders (trucks with rebuilt engines but new cabs) would have to meet new truck greenhouse gas emissions standards. It was supposed by anti-glider forces that gliders would fail to meet new truck standards since glider engines are rebuilt and presumably inferior to new engines. This would later prove to be a faulty assumption.
Email #1: March 26, 2017
Five months after the Obama EPA issues the rule to kill the glider industry, Volvo Truck lobbyist Steve Berry informs William Charmley (Director of EPA’s Assessment & Standards Division in the Office of Transportation and Air Quality) that, despite the EPA death sentence, the glider industry is still alive. Food for thought: Why is a Volvo lobbyist e-mailing a senior EPA official about this? Is Volvo concerned that the glider industry will somehow survive? Clearly there is a pre-existing relationship between Berry and Charmley. The originator of this chain of emails is Jay Nash, the manager of product research and industry trends at Volvo Trucks.
Email #2: September 6, 2017
Volvo trucks and EPA staff have already commenced their conspiracy before this email — so earlier emails are missing. In June 2017, Fitzgerald Glider Kits petitioned Trumps EPA to repeal the Obama EPA rule. Without the knowledge and approval of Trump EPA officials, a rogue EPA lab in Ann Arbor, MI decides to sabotage the Fitzgerald petition by conducting an unauthorized and rigged test of glider trucks emissions. While it’s possible that the EPA Ann Arbor lab staff dreamed up this scheme on its own, it is more likely that Volvo Trucks lobbied the EPA lab staff to do the testing.
This email from Volvo Trucks lobbyist Steve Berry to Angela Cullen (Director of the Data and Testing Center of EPA’s Assessment and Standards Division) reveals that Volvo Trucks is supplying gliders to EPA for the EPA lab’s emissions testing. Let that sink in — Volvo is supplying the EPA lab with the glider trucks that Volvo wants banned.
Email #3: September 8, 2017
This email from Volvo Trucks lobbyist Steve Berry to EPA lab director Angela Cullen again shows Volvo procuring glider trucks to be “tested” by EPA. Food for thought: Shouldn’t EPA have been contacting the glider industry for trucks? What kind of legitimate testing could have occurred with glider trucks procured by a proponent of their ban?
Email #4: September 12, 2017.
Volvo Truck lobbyist Steve Berry just keeping EPA lab chief Angela Cullen posted on glider procurement.
Email #5: September 26, 2017
EPA lab chief Angela Cullen has copied Volvo Trucks lobbyist Steve Berry on the procurement of a glider that Berry has arranged.
Email #6: October 10, 2017
Having already tested the first glider (procured by glider opponent Volvo Trucks for the EPA lab), Volvo Trucks lobbyist Steve Berry presses EPA ;ab chief to “test” a second glider.
Email #7: October 19, 2017
The truck dealer (mnktrucks.com) who supplied EPA with the first glider is having trouble securing another for the second test. So Volvo Trucks lobbyist Steve Berry tells EPA lab chief Angela Cullen that he will check with other truck dealers.
Email #8: October 20, 2017
Success! Volvo Truck lobbyist Steve Berry finds another glider for EPA to test. And guess what? It’s a Fitzgerald-made glider. EPA lab chief Angela Cullen is most appreciative. Food for thought: Why didn’t EPA just ask Fitzgerald Glider Kits for a glider to test?
Email #9: October 27, 2017
Uh-oh. Trouble in Scoundrel City. Trump EPA staff (for EPA media chief Liz Bowman) hear for teh first time about the unauthorized glider testring going on in Michigan == from the Washington Post of all places. Apparently, Volvo trucks lobbyist Steve Berry has been prepping the media for the results of the bogus testing being conducted by rogue EPA lab chief Angela Cullen.
Email #10: October 31, 2017.
Volvo Trucks Senior VP and lobbyist Susan Alt lets EPA OTAG chief William Charmley know that she is copying him on anti-glider letters from Volvo Truck dealers that were send to EPA Administrator Pruitt. Note the email marked as missing from this production — the one cited from Charmley to Volvo Truck dealer Terry Dotson.
Email #11: November 9, 2017.
Engine Manufacturers Association (another glider hater) lobbyist Matthew Spears is apparently informed by EPA OTAG official William Charmley that the Trump EPA has issued the proposal to repeal the Obama EPA glider ban. Spears tersely responds with, “Sad.” Charmley then informs Spears that the EPA lab will complete testing on the second glider and release the final report on the test in about 10 days. (Where’s the fire?!) Charmley also seems unusually well-informed as to the American Trucking Association’s opposition to the glider rule repeal. Charmley also informs Spears that he is trying to sabotage other and contrary glider testing results recently performed at Tennessee Tech University. Spears responds with a description of some legal approaches EMA may take to oppose the repeal.
Email #12: November 16, 2017
EPA lab chief Angela Cullen lets Volvo Trucks lobbyist Steve Berry know that the “testing” part of the conspiracy is almost finished. The Volvo-sourced glider truck can be picked up soon.
Email #13: November 16, 2017
Volvo Trucks lobbyist Steve Berry urges testing of a third glider with a remanufactured eneine — but not Fitzgerald glider! Also suggested by Berry is that EPA involve itself with the Tennessee Tech glider test.
Clearly there were many more communications between Volvo Trucks, EMA and EPA staff. Many, many more. But they weren’t produced by EPA staff because they are even more embarrassing if not incriminating. The Department of Justice should investigate.
Here are some of the players in this drama:
June 9, 2018 at 01:34PM