Bogus Degrees of Separation: Environmental Laws Based on Academic Fraud

SignsOnSanDiego has the spotlight on Hien Tran, who is described as once being a lead scientist on the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the group that released a study recommending sweeping new diesel emission rules. The regulations are opposed by business community (any business not connected with making money off the regulations, I should say).

SoSD had a report back in April about Tran’s “education” background:

According to a document provided this week by the California Air Resources Board, on Dec. 10, 2008, air board scientist Hien T. Tran admitted to Bart Croes, head of the air board’s research department, that he had lied about having a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of California Davis. Tran was no minor player in the air board hierarchy. He was the lead scientist and coordinator of an ambitious, far-reaching study on diesel emissions that air board leaders thought made a powerful case for sweeping new rules governing the heavy-duty trucks responsible for most such emissions.

At this point, the air board’s responsibilities were plain: It should have immediately suspended Tran and commissioned an independent outside evaluation of Tran’s work. And it should have put off action on proposed regulations based on Tran’s research.

Instead, on Dec. 12, the board voted unanimously for the rules. Reporters covering the high-profile hearing at which this action was taken were not told that the air board knew the lead scientist on the study justifying the regulations had lied about his academic credentials.

So to cover the UC Davis lie, Tran then said that he got a Doctorate in Applied Sciences from “Thornhill University.” Thornhill University’s website lists the address for the school as 244 Madison Ave.

According to a subsequent story posted just yesterday on SignsOnSanDiego, a San Diego businessman who is worried that the new “environmental” regulations will devastate the state’s economy for no valid scientific reasons did a little research on Thornhill, and here is what’s located at 244 Madison Avenue — where “Thornhill University” should be:


Here’s a picture of the Ph.D. it’s said that Tran got by mail for $1,000.

In spite of this repeated academic fraud, Tran is still with CARB (though it’s claimed he has been demoted) and his “research” is still used as justification for the diesel emission regulations!

I’m pointing this out for a couple of reasons: 1) Tran still has more formal science education than Al Gore, and 2) “Saving the environment” has little to nothing to do with science or education and everything to do with ramming a political agenda down our throats no matter what the cost to the economy or how thick the fraud.

Author: Doug Powers

Doug Powers is a writer, editor and commentator covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint with an occasional shot of irreverence and a chaser of snark. Townhall Media writer/editor. alum. Bowling novice. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. Contact: