A Democratic senator known for crusading against global warming skeptics scrambled Wednesday to scrub a report criticizing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) critics on his website of connections to environmental groups.
EPA’s critics are in cahoots with shadowy figures in the fossil fuel industry, a report posted Monday on Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s website claimed.
The document appears to have been created by an attorney in conjuction with EarthJustice, a green legal group currently defending the EPA in the courts, according to data obtained by The Washington Free Beacon.
After reporters reached out to Whitehouse and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a new version of the report materialized online, scrubbed of digital fingerprints and linked to David Baron, an EarthJustice attorney working on behalf of the Sierra Club.
The original report was released Monday by Whitehouse, Reid, and Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, and Ed Markey of Massachusetts, and is crafted to resemble a lawsuit challenging environmental regulations on carbon emissions.
Metadata of the report indicates that Baron assisted the Democratic senators in putting together the report. Baron is listed as the “author” of the report in the metadata.
The updated version of the report was submitted to the website at 9:42 a.m. Wednesday, according to the document’s metadata, and lists a White House staffer as its author.
While Baron is slated as the “author” of the initial report, there is clear evidence that he or EarthJustice explicitly had a hand in writing the report.
The report “demonstrates that the state officials, trade associations, front groups, and industry-funded scientists participating in the [EPA regulation legal] challenge actually represent the interests of the fossil fuel industry,” a press statement on Whitehouse’s website states.
Ironically, many of the same senators involved in Whitehouse’s report were also instrumental in carrying out a clandestine effort to publicly shame on the senate floor non-profit groups they considered global warming “denialists.”
Whitehouse directed 19 of his fellow Democratic senators July 11 to attack conservative and libertarian organizations such as Americans for Prosperity and the Cato Institute on the chamber floors for engaging in what the senators call a “web of denial.”
Democratic Sens. Al Franken of Minnesota, Boxer and Whitehouse needled various groups – the Heritage Foundation, the Reason Foundation, and the Hoover Institute among the various groups targeted.
Whitehouse is also known for browbeating groups into divorcing from the fossil fuel industry, in addition to those refusing to fall in line with environmental political narratives.
The American Geophysical Union (AGU), which boasts more than 62,000 members worldwide, announced in May, for instance, that it would review and possibly reconsider a decision it made in April to continue its relationship with Exxon after Whitehouse and California Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat, harassed the group into separating from the oil company.
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