If you’re an environmentalist, you’ll definitely want to go to the “Goofest” put on by the EPA’s former policy administrator Michael Goo. Goofest was apparently bigger occasion than the “killing of Bin Laden,” according to emails obtained by House Republicans.
Emails from 2011 and 2013 show that Goo, who is in his 50s, invited environmentalists and other government officials to raging parties dubbed “Goofest” which featured an “ice luge” for taking shots and copious amounts of food and alcohol.
“Less than a week to go! Goofest 2013 is this Saturday! It’s a bring your own party party,” reads an invitation to Goo’s party sent to environmental activists with the League of Conservation Voters and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The email added that party attendees could buy t-shirts for $20 to commemorate the last Goofest before Goo left the agency.
The emails, obtained by Fox News, even include fictional testimonials from “past Goofest attendees.” One such testimonial, presumably written by Goo, exclaims: “Even better than killing Bin Laden. I’m just jealous I don’t have an ObamaFest — Barack, 2012”. Another read: “Michael! Put your clothes back on! — Everyone, Every Year.”
“How many shots of tequila had I had by then? Did you do a shot off the ice luge?” Goo asked LCV employee Tiernan Sittenfield in an email.
While these “Goofest” emails were comical, Republican lawmakers pointed out the emails highlight a disturbingly cozy relationship between EPA officials and environmental activists — an issue Republicans have been highlighting for some time.
Rep. Bill Johnson of Ohio grilled EPA Chief Administrator Gina McCarthy over Goo’s cozy relationship with activists, including asking whether or not McCarthy thought agency employees attending “Goofest”
“Are you familiar with Goofest?” Johnson asked.
“I have never been to a Goofest,” McCarthy responded, adding that she was only aware Goo had a big party every year.
“Would you agree that inviting these third-party groups from the EPA policy director … would you agree that that shows a close cozy relationship with these folks?” Johnson pressed. “And do you think it’s appropriate for someone that’s responsible for directing EPA’s policy to host a party that includes attendees attempting to influence the agency’s [policies]?”
“I have no reason to believe that this was about influencing rulemaking,” McCarthy responded, which Johnson chuckled at.
But Goo’s connections with environmentalists goes deeper than just wild parties. Another email unveiled by lawmakers between Goo and NRDC employee David Hawkins talked about putting out reports supporting a pending EPA regulation.
Goo wrote to Hawkins that “maybe a report or or [sic] something in january [sic] showing there is no new coal being built might be helpful … thx.”
Lawmakers have hammered Goo in the past for being caught scheduling meetings with environmentalist at the Starbucks near the EPA’s office to avoid transparency rules. Goo was also caught emailing with Sierra Club activist Lena Moffit about the Keystone XL pipeline.
“Thanks so much for taking the time to meet with us on Keystone XL,” Moffit wrote Goo and two senior EPA employees on Sept. 29, 2011. “Let me know if I can be helpful in any way — particularly in further identifying those opportunities for EPA to engage that don’t involve ‘throwing your body across the tracks,’ as Michael put it.”
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