Report: EPA Broke The Law To Push CO2 Regulations


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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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A new report by a government watchdog group claims the EPA broke federal law by secretly colluding with environmental activists to push the Obama administration’s global warming agenda, and urges the agency to go back to the drawing board on its pending carbon dioxide rule.

A report by the Environment & Energy Legal Institute unveils “records showing illegal activities by EPA staff, colluding with certain environmental group lobbyists to draft EPA’s greenhouse gas (GHG) rules behind the scenes and outside of public view.”

“These emails, which EPA forced us to litigate to obtain, prove beyond any doubt that EPA conducted its campaign to impose the global warming agenda unlawfully, making the rules themselves unlawful,” Chris Horner, an E&E Legal senior attorney, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Horner says the EPA’s rules are unlawful because they were made in collusion with environmental groups, effectively shutting out the public from the process and violating federal law. E&E Legal says the Clean Power Plan and other agency rules were written with an “unalterably closed mind” because it revolved around pushing an anti-fossil fuel agenda.

E&E Legal’s latest report builds off one the group released last year which produced emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request showing coordination between environmentalists and EPA officials. This included emails between environmentalists and EPA employees discussing the Keystone XL pipeline and the technological feasibility of clean coal technology.

Now E&E Legal says FOIA records show “the influence on EPA by pressure groups, the same groups from which EPA obtained numerous senior officials.” These activists were instrumental in crafting the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” — which regulates carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

The EPA is expected to finalize the Clean Power Plan as early as Monday, and the White house said it would be “stronger” than the proposed rule that was published last year. Already states have sued to get the rule struck down by the courts, and Republicans are urging governors not to enforce it.

“The issue is solely whether Congress will stop EPA from unlawfully winning by losing, which is to say, using sham rulemaking to metastasize its desired harms before the typical timeline of litigation allows for intervention,” Horner said. “The public needs to consider this illegality and cynical lawlessness when the President stands up with the EPA administrator next week to lecture us all about how they’re just doing the right thing.”

In the two years, numerous reports have come out detailing collusion between environmental groups and the EPA. It started with a New York Times report showing how two high-powered lobbyists with the Natural Resources Defense Council wrote the “blueprint” of what would become the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

“Indisputable, however, is that the Natural Resources Defense Council was far ahead of the E.P.A. in drafting the architecture of the proposed regulation,” The Times reported last year.

The report sparked congressional inquiries and only added to the evidence compiled by Horner and others showing communications between the EPA and green lobbyists.

“The Clean Power Plan follows our clear legal authority under the Clean Air Act,” an EPA spokeswoman told TheDCNF. “The supreme court has decided multiple times that EPA has an obligation to regulate greenhouse gases.”

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