William K. Reilly

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

William K. Reilly was appointed to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Dec. 22, 1988, and he was officially nominated by President Bush on Jan. 20, 1989. Reilly has held five environment-related positions during two decades, the latest as President of both the World Wildlife Fund--U.S. and the Conservation Foundation." [1]

"Mr. Reilly is a director of ConocoPhillips, Royal Caribbean International, National Geographic Society and the Packard Foundation. He also serves as chairman emeritus of the board of the World Wildlife Fund, chairman of the Advisory Board of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions of Duke University, and co-chair of the National Commission on Energy Policy." [1]

In an EPA interview, Reilly noted that:

"Then, the President's Council on Environmental Quality, which was setting up and looking for a land use lawyer, went to my old law firm for advice about whom to pick. They suggested me.
"So, I found myself one of the Council's first staff members under Russell Train and was given the job of helping draft the regulations - they were then guidelines - implementing the National Environmental Policy Act and the Environmental Impact Statement procedures. I also drafted a National Land Use Policy Act. That was the only one of the big legislative proposals on which we worked in the early 1970s that did not make it into law. The Coastal Zone Management Act is essentially the same bill that I had drafted, based on the American Law Institute's Model Land Development Code. So, we got a piece of it, a grant incentive program for the coast but not for the whole country.
"After two years there, I was invited to direct a task force on land use for the President's Commission on Environmental Quality, chaired by Laurence S. Rockefeller. We produced a report in 1973, The Use of Land: A Citizen's Policy Guide to Urban Growth, which went through three printings and sold 50,000 copies. I accepted an invitation then to become President of The Conservation Foundation. In 1985, it affiliated with World Wildlife Fund and later merged completely. In 1985, I became President of both institutions. That's where I was when President Bush asked me to become EPA Administrator. That's probably more than you wanted to know." [2]

Affiliations

Tobacco issues

William Rilley was EPA administrator on January 7, 1993 at the time the EPA issued a press release announcing the publication of its 1993 Risk Assessment on the health hazards of secondhand smoke. The final report, titled "Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders," (EPA 600/6/90/006F), concluded that Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS, also known as secondhand smoke), is a Group A human lung carcinogen responsible for approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths annually among U.S. non-smokers. The risk assessment grouped ETS with other carcinogens rated Group A, including radon gas, asbestos, and vinyl chloride. The report also concluded that passive smoking results in serious respiratory problems for infants and young children. The 530-page EPA report had been in the development phase since 1988, and was subjected to extensive review and revisions. It was prepared under authority of Title IV of Superfund (The Radon Gas and Indoor Air Quality Research Act of 1986), which directs EPA to conduct a research and information dissemination program on all aspects of indoor air quality.

The report's publication represents a landmark in the history of government publication on the health hazards of secondhand smoke. The tobacco industry attempted to influence the report's creation throughout its development period. When they couldn't stop the report or significantly alter its conclusions, the Tobacco Institute created an aggressive program to fight the fallout of the report by attacking the process and methodology used in creating it. The Institute enlisted consulting scientists to create the appearance of doubt about the scientific consensus on secondhand smoke by going on media tours, and writing letters and op-eds criticizing it. To head off the flood of legislated smoking restrictions the Institute expected in the wake of the report, the Institute hired ventilation experts to tour the country promoting the use of ventilation, rather than smoking bans, to clear the air in workplaces.[3][4]

Reilly presided over the EPA at a time when the tobacco industry concentrated tremendous energy on trying to undermine the agency's credibility.

An internal Philip Morris (PM) report, found in the files of Victor Han (Director of Communications for Philip Morris Worldwide Regulatory Affairs), describes the threat that the EPA's 1993 rating of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) as a Group A Human Carcinogen posed to the cigarette industry:

Indirectly, ETS will have considerable influence on all other tobacco-related legislation, including taxation, marketing freedoms, etc. Of critical importance will be the effect on consumers, practically deprived of more and more locations in which they can smoke, and psychologically given more incentive to quit.

The 12-page PM report characterizes the EPA as "at worst corrupt and controlled by environmental terrorists" and states that,

...without an effort to build considerable reasonable doubt about [EPA's case against secondhand smoke]--particularly among consumers--then virtually all other efforts [to fight the ETS issue] will be diminished in effectiveness.

PM's was not to fight the ETS issue on its merits, but instead to destroy the credibility of the government agency that declared it dangerous:

The credibility of the EPA is defeatable, but not on the basis of ETS alone. It must be part of a larger mosaic that concentrates all of the EPA's enemies against it at one time.

The paper describes how the media's focus would be taken off of ETS by the generation of non-ETS stories, stories that focus on "general EPA bashing by credible, authoritative sources." and "EPA ineptitude and, when possible, corruption."[5]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch

References

  1. William K. Reilly, DuPont, accessed October 3, 2011.
  2. Climate Works Foundation Board, organizational web page, accessed December 14, 2012.
  3. President's Council, American Farmland Trust, accessed October 3, 2011.
  4. Board of Trustees, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, accessed September 16, 2007.
  5. Leadership, Initiative for Global Development, accessed December 11, 2007.
  6. About, National Geographic Society, accessed January 17, 2009.
  7. Directors, Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation, accessed November 20, 2009.
  8. Advisory Board, Blue Legacy, accessed February 19, 2010.
  9. National Council, The Conservation Fund, accessed May 9, 2010.
  10. Terra Nature Fund People, organizational web page, accessed February 24, 2012.

External links

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