Leaked Docs: Dems Coordinate To Discredit EPA Critics


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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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Democratic gubernatorial offices around the country have been relying on the same activist-drafted, cookie-cutter talking points when it comes to discrediting critics of the Obama administration’s global warming agenda.

Documents obtained by the Energy and Environment Legal Institute and published Wednesday by The Washington Free Beacon reveal how Democrats circulated talking points to “sow doubts about our opponents [sic] motives” — their “opponents” being those that opposed EPA power plant regulations.

Political consultants with ties to the Climate Action Campaign circulated research by the polling firm Hart Research Associates that warned voters are skeptical of EPA rules because their “default belief is that electricity bills will go up.” The email containing the memo included an invite staffers to a conference call with White House policy advisors.

“Denying [electricity] rate increases strains credulity with many audiences,” reads the Hart memo circulated among Democratic operatives and staffers.

Sam Ricketts, who heads up the Washington, D.C., office for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, also sent a template press release on how governors offices can support EPA regulations and tie them to fighting extreme weather.

“Today’s announcement by the Administration is a welcome sign that [STATE] now has a partner in fighting climate change,” according to Ricketts’ memo. “We have seen the impacts climate change is having on our communities, from increased health risks to [LOCAL EXTREME WEATHER EVENT] hurting thousands in [TOWN], and have recognized we can no longer fail to act.”

Ricketts noted that this template was also developed by the Climate Action Campaign and were based on Hart’s research.

The advocacy memos also suggested Democrats “strongly and consistently sow doubts about our opponents motives when responding to any criticism of the Climate Action Plan or its components.” Their main tactic: make energy companies the bad guys.

“The key to success is a visible adversary,” according to the memo. “In this case, that adversary is power companies, though this line of messaging easily could be adapted to encompass the coal industry or any other dirty energy advocate.”

The EPA’s power plant regulations, called the Clean Power Plan, has ignited a huge legal battle between states, the coal industry and the Obama administration. At least 15 states are planning to sue the EPA over its new rules, which limit carbon dioxide emissions from new and existing power plants.

EPA has been pushing back against criticisms of the Clean Power Plan, saying it gives states plenty of flexibility and will lower electricity costs in the long-run.

“This is a rule that is regulating carbon pollution from the largest source of carbon pollution in this country,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told The Wall Street Journal in March. “It is being done consistent with exactly what the [Clean Air Act] tells us we’re supposed to do. And we are doing it in the way that brings the most flexibility to the states so that they can understand what direction they want to take.”

The EPA has also called concerns that global warming rules would harm the economy fear mongering. The agency points to the fact that federal pollutions controls have made the air cleaner while the economy has grown.

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