FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                 CONTACT:      

MARCH 4, 2013                                                                                     Mary Beth Hutchins, 202-400-2721

Jamie Morris, 202-499-2425


Cause of Action Report Reveals Scientific Misconduct at

Department of the Interior

How the Department of the Interior Use Flawed Science to Foreclose the American Dream


WASHINGTON – Cause of Action (CoA), a government accountability organization, today released  “Keeping Entrepreneurship at Bay: How the Department of the Interior Uses Flawed Science to Foreclose the American Dream,” an investigative report on the systemic manipulation of scientific data within the Marine Mammal Commission (MMC), the National Park Service (NPS), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the Department of the Interior (DOI).  The misrepresentation of data influenced a Cabinet member’s decisions, was quoted in a Department of Justice filing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and is negatively affecting multiple businesses in the United States.


Cause of Action’s Executive Director Dan Epstein explained the consequences of the scientific misconduct:

Cause of Action has exposed a culture of corruption and disregard for scientific integrity perpetrated by the government on the taxpayers’ dime. The Interior Department’s opaque reliance on misrepresented data demands immediate reform of the Agency, its departments, and its Office of Inspector General as well as a complete revision of NPS environmental impact statements. 


Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar’s November 29, 2012 decision to deny a Special Use Permit (SUP) for land belonging to NPS to Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC), a small, family-run, environmentally sustainable farm located inside the Point Reyes National Seashore, was largely affected by misrepresented data, a perpetuation of false information, a disregard for the law by multiple federal government offices, and political taint. This business is now embroiled in a legal battle that has produced temporary relief from the Ninth Circuit that will allow DBOC to remain open until another hearing in May 2013, but does not guarantee that the business will escape a full shut down.


“How the Department of the Interior Uses Flawed Science to Foreclose the American Dream,” reveals that the data used by multiple agencies within the federal government were out of date, inapplicable, and brazenly false in their representation of the impact of DBOC on the environment:

  • The Department of Interior (DOI) Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) February 2013 Report Ignored Data and Used a Flawed Methodology.
  • The Investigation by DOI Solicitor Gavin Frost Lacked Objectivity and Independence. It Improperly Dismissed Scientific Misconduct by Labeling It “Administrative Misconduct.”
  • Federal Agencies Misrepresented Scientific Findings to Support a False Narrative.
  • The National Park Service (NPS) Prioritizes Politics Over Scientific Integrity by Refusing to Withdraw and Correct Flawed Science, Impacting Businesses Both Nationally and Worldwide.
  • DOI OIG Misled the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (Energy Committee) During the Confirmation of NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis.
  • The Marine Mammal Commission (MMC) Cannot Effectively Function Without an Independent Inspector General (IG).


Click here to read a copy of the full report.


Click here to ready a copy of Cause of Action’s Data Quality Act complaint against NPS.


About Cause of Action:

Cause of Action is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that uses investigative, legal, and communications tools to educate the public on how government accountability and transparency protects taxpayer interests and economic opportunity. For more information, visit


To schedule an interview with Cause of Action’s Executive Director Dan Epstein, contact Mary Beth Hutchins,  202-400-2721 or Jamie Morris,