The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) former head of policy described his private email account as a “channel” for “offline chats” with left-wing environmental lobbyists, according to newly released emails.
Former EPA Policy director Michael Goo wrote to an environmental lobbyist in 2011 “if you want to have an offline chat just let me know you are using this channel,” referring to his Yahoo email account.
Goo’s admission is detailed in an updated report by the free-market Energy and Environment Legal Institute (EELI). EELI updated its February 2016 report on EPA collusion with environmentalists after the agency recently handed over a batch of new emails from Goo’s account.
“Goo expressly described his Yahoo account to EPA’s ‘industry validator’ lobbyist as a ‘channel’ for ‘offline chats’, leaving no doubt about the unlawful intent behind its use,” Chris Horner, an EELI senior fellow, wrote in the report.
“Reporters, who chose not to write about this revelation, were using it too,” Horner wrote.
Horner is referring to a text he uncovered between Goo and Politico reporter Darren Samuelsohn, in which the reporter told “Goo to check his Yahoo account, to approve/be the unattributed source for characterizations about Obama environmental policymaking.”
Goo, who left EPA in 2013, was a main point of contact for environmentalists seeking to influence EPA policy, according to Horner’s report. EELI has found numerous emails between Goo and environmental activists over his private Yahoo email account discussing agency policy.
Goo told lobbyist Michael Bradley his Yahoo account was for “offline chats” on EPA policy matters. EELI has already detailed numerous instances of Goo colluding with environmentalists with his Yahoo account and through text messages.
“These admissions by lobbyists, and now Goo and even reporters — among the most aware people on earth about FOIA’s requirements — all reveal a desire to break the rules in order to keep EPA-related correspondence ‘offline,’” Horner wrote.
“Significantly, Democratic congressional staff also turned to Goo’s Yahoo account to coordinate with him on key matters, circumventing federal requirements,” Horner wrote. “Goo, to his credit, forwarded these to EPA.”
EELI recently released a text between Goo and Sierra Club lobbyist John Coequyt, where the former EPA official said if environmentalists “want any hope of regulation of fracking then give us more time to try and remove the gun from our head and talk sense into OMB dickheads.”
“If you want the oil and gas nsps to give fracking a free pass, as OMB would like then don’t give us the extension,” Goo texted Coequyt, referring to proposed EPA New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for oil and gas fracking, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
Good texted Coequyt about fracking as the Sierra Club was in litigation with EPA over the issue, reports EELI. Goo strategized with Coequyt on how to get around the White House’s Office of Management and Budget on fracking regulations.
EELI released its first report on EPA collusion in February, claiming the agency is a “captured” agency “allowing green pressure groups improper influence.”
“Specifically, Michael Goo, then EPA’s Associate Administrator for the Office of Policy, was tasked with writing the initial memo on EPA’s options to impose these power plant regulations,” EELI initially reported.
“Mr. Goo shared his draft options secretly, using his private email rather than his official EPA email, with lobbyists and high-level staffers at the Sierra Club, Clean Air Task Force and the Natural Resource Defense Council; also using Goo’s non-official account, these lobbyists in turn told Goo how to draft or alter the policy that was ultimately implemented in the rules.”
EELI also uncovered emails about Goo’s legendary parties, known as “Goofest.” Emails obtained by Fox News in 2015 show Goofest even featured an “ice luge” for taking shots.
EELI will use Goo’s collusion with environmentalists in court arguments against EPA’s global warming rule. Horner wrote EELI “has ensured the court will hear the evidence at least as relates to the 111b rule regarding existing sources.”
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