Commentary by James Shott
The Environmental Protection Agency, long behaving as a narrowly
focused ideological organization instead of as a servant of the people,
may finally have messed up sufficiently to bring itself down, or at the
very least to have earned a significant degree of restriction to its
slash-and-burn approach to fossil fuel energy production.
misery to thousands of honest, hard-working people who have lost jobs
and businesses, suffered downturns in their business and/or paid heavy
fines because of the agency’s dogmatic focus on imposing unwarranted
restrictions on behaviors the agency dislikes, the EPA has been caught
in an incestuous relationship with organizations that advocate the same
ideology as agency bureaucrats.
The work of the
Environment & Energy Legal Institute (EELI) reveals that the EPA
has secretly colluded with environmental activists to drive the Obama
administration’s manic global warming agenda. The organization’s report
reveals “records showing illegal activities by EPA staff, conspiring
with certain environmental group lobbyists to draft EPA’s greenhouse gas
rules behind the scenes and outside of public view.”
reported by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Michael Bastasch, who
quoted Chris Horner, an EELI senior attorney, “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.” Mr. Horner says the EPA’s rules
were made in collusion with environmental groups, including the radical
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), thereby excluding the public
from the process, and are therefore unlawful.
the EPA wrote the Clean Power Plan and other agency rules with an
“unalterably closed mind” centered on an anti-fossil fuel agenda. The
EPA’s behavior and the NRDC’s perspective perfectly fit the dictionary
definition of the ideologue: an impractical idealist, an often blindly
partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology.
2014 EELI report focused on emails released through a Freedom of
Information Act request that showed coordination between EPA employees
and environmentalists that discussed the Keystone XL pipeline and clean
coal technology. The EELI asserts that the records show “the influence
on EPA by pressure groups, the same groups from which EPA obtained
numerous senior officials,” and that these activists helped to craft the
EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) that regulates carbon dioxide emissions
from existing power plants.
The New York Times
found similar connections last year: “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 EPA’s strategy, Mr. Horner commented: “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. The public needs
to consider this illegality and cynical lawlessness when the President
stands up with the EPA administrator … to lecture us all about how
they’re just doing the right thing.”
Question: If the EPA and the Obama administration are doing the right thing, why did they feel compelled to break the law?
EPA is expected to finalize the CPP this week, and may already have
done so by now. According to comments from the White House, this new
version of the plan is even stronger than last year’s proposal, which
was objectionable enough to prompt several states to file suit opposing
the rule, and to outrage some labor unions.
this stronger version of the plan had been developed, United Mine
Workers of America president Cecil Roberts said the CPP would result in
tens of thousands of union members losing their jobs. Doing the right
thing “will lead to long-term and irreversible job losses for thousands
of coal miners, electrical workers, utility workers, boilermakers,
railroad workers and others without achieving any significant reduction
of global greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr. Roberts said in a statement. In
addition to the thousands who have already lost their jobs, he
estimates that the rule will cause 75,000 job losses in the coal sector
by 2020, rising to 152,000 by 2035.
unconcerned with the thousands of American workers whose lives will be
turned upside-down, an EPA spokesperson said, “The Clean Power Plan
follows our clear legal authority under the Clean Air Act,” adding that,
“The supreme court has decided multiple times that EPA has an
obligation to regulate greenhouse gases,” without apparent concern for
The EPA, like all federal agencies,
is duty-bound to enthusiastically adhere to only one ideology, and that
is the one outlined by the U.S. Constitution.
or any federal agency, may properly seek input from any individual or
organization, but they may not take information or advice exclusively
from one side without providing the opportunity for opposing points of
view and data to be provided, and to objectively consider all points of
view to arrive at a fair and sensible conclusion.
of control actions by agencies of the federal government are much too
frequent, and repercussions for this inappropriate, intolerable and
sometimes-illegal behavior are nearly non-existent. A number of people
should be fired, and a few deserve to be indicted.
Don’t hold your breath!
Cross-posted from Observations