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EPA Accused of Waiving FOIA Fees for Left-Wing Groups Over Conservative Ones

GOP lawmakers: “This activity calls into question the objectivity of the FOI employees at EPA and undermines public confidence."

by
Bill Straub

Bio

June 10, 2013 - 10:03 am
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But the GOP-controlled House appears to be in no mood to wait. A letter to Perciasepe dated June 5 informed him that the signatories, 35 Republican lawmakers, are “extremely concerned about the apparent bias shown in the FOI process at EPA.”

“This activity calls into question the objectivity of the FOI employees at EPA and undermines public confidence in an agency that is charged with protecting our air and water,” the letter said.

The lawmakers, led by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a conservative GOP caucus in the House, noted that information about the alleged favoritism displayed by EPA became public about the same time as the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice were being investigated for “abuses of power.”

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is investigating claims that the IRS targeted Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status. The panel also is trying to determine if Attorney General Eric Holder lied during testimony before the committee regarding his involvement in the Associated Press e-mail scandal.

“In the case of the IRS, as with the EPA, it appears as though conservative groups were targeted as well,” the letter said.

The lawmakers asked Perciasepe to inform them of who in the EPA is responsible for granting waivers and what sort of procedures are in place to assure that bias doesn’t occur in waiver requests.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, and Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee, sent their own letter to EPA Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins Jr. requesting information about how his office intends to conduct its investigation.

“EPA’s actions are cause for concern in light of similar allegations at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that the agency is targeting conservative political groups for unfair and improper screening,” the lawmakers wrote. “These discriminatory actions reflect an unfair and unequal application of the law, designed to clearly dissuade people and groups of a different political mindset than the administration.  Such actions can have a chilling effect on the public, and raise questions about the integrity of critical agencies.”

As part of the review, Smith and Broun asked Elkins to determine “whether these are the actions of a few individuals, or the philosophy of leadership at EPA.”

Murphy said EPA critics, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, maintain the agency provides some green groups with “preferred customer status” to coordinate friendly lawsuits against the federal government in a procedure known as “sue and settle.”

An environmental group can use documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act to file lawsuits contending the EPA should apply tougher environmental regulations. Rather than engage in litigation, the EPA settles the lawsuit and accepts the environmentalists’ demands to impose stronger regulations.

The result, Murphy said, is billions of dollars in new regulations passed along to consumers in the form of higher electric bills.

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Washington freelancer Bill Straub is former White House correspondent for Scripps Howard News Service.

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All Comments   (13)
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This is more evidence of government employees ensuring their "job security" just as welfare recipients and immigrants ensuring their EBT cards, by supporting the Democrats at every possible opportunity. IRS employees are doing the same in auditing nearly 100% of tax returns with dependents based on adoption; they may not find errors in the returns, but the IRS employees are sure generating a lot of "work."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
government run wild, picking and choosing, and no better than the FAILED "investments" in green companies, and seems like just a way to try and cover their failures.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have 37 years experience dealing with the EPA, and I can tell you most within the agency view the radical enviro-clubs as fellow travelers and brothers and sisters.

Marc Malone commented Obama appoints radicals, and yes, he certainly does. The problems at USEPA, however, far pre-date Obama. After the fall of Soviet communist empire the radical environmental movement became the haven of last resort for sympathizers in the US. They infiltrated primary education, college campuses and gubmint agencies with a vengeance. We now see the results.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If they are legally allowed to waive the rules, you can fully expect them to play favorites. The real question is, are they actually allowed to waive the fees? The DMV never waives its fees, does it?

The real problem is, Obama is a radical, and he appoints radicals. This is the result. We warned everyone, but they didn't want to hear it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
DMVs are state, not federal. They can't afford to waive fees, like the Federal agencies can.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Every single executive branch apparatus has been totally subverted to the agenda of the wreckers who currently occupy the White House and Blair House.

The only defense against them is to defund them. All of them.

Congress, you hold at least a third of the political power of the American Government. Do your damned job.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's very simple. The EPA waived the fees for groups who support science and have the intent to make the world a better place for the children.

They used this opportunity to make the forces of evil pay.

This is perfectly in tune with the teachings of Saint Barak and is not even worth wasting time and money investigating.

If only the Republicans would concentrate more on helping instead of hindering we could all march arm in arm off into the glorious future where everyone gets along....or at least pretends to
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Then there's establishment of an "organisation" to establish a "database" by Obama and for Obama; the likes of which nobody "has ever seen before". All this is for ONE reason: establishing something other than a constiturional Republic, by force.
Obama MUST be called to account.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It matters not a whit whether it is the EPA or any other agency. The truth is that this is a regime gone wild, and everything associated with it becomes infected. And if this wasn't the case, how could the following take place? - http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/05/15/regime-gone-wild-obama-inc-repeatedly-caught-with-their-pants-down-where-is-this-leading-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Just another front in the drone warfare, government drone, against the American people.

What? You thought drones brought death from the sky? The death of a thousand paper cuts inflicted by bureaucrat drones has been ongoing for near 100 years. It's just under Obama, they feel they no longer must hide their intentions behind artful bureaucratic maneuvers.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is likely that the Democrats have penetrated the government as thoroughly as they have the academy, so these and other similar revelations should not be a surprise. The really tough thing is to get something adopted in Congress that will put a stop to it. The faux outrage by our friends on the left at the IRS scandal will be blown away when Issa proposes legislation mandating equal treatment under penalty of law and the Democrats balk.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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