Obama’s EPA scandal begins to see the light of day
Freedom Outpost – Tim Brown – 5/24/2013
A letter was sent by Republican Senators David Vitter (R-LA), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) along with Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) to Acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe last Friday. They have accused the agency of continuing to make conservative think tanks and state and local governments pay full price for obtaining documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), but routinely waiving those fees for environmental groups.
“This disparate treatment is unacceptable, especially in light of the recent controversy over abusive tactics at the Internal Revenue Service, which singled out conservative groups for special scrutiny,” the legislators wrote.
They specifically pointed out that, according to the data, ninety-two percent (92%) of fee waivers granted by the EPA were requests from environmental groups.
“The startling disparity in treatment strongly suggests EPA’s actions are possibly part of a broader effort to collude with groups that share the agency’s political agenda and discriminate against states and conservative organizations,” they alleged. “This is a clear abuse of discretion.”
The committee reviewed over 1,200 pages of EPA correspondence between January 1, 2012 and April 26, 2013 and discovered that the EPA “manipulated the FOIA fee waiver process. Among the groups that had their fees waved were National Resources Defense Council, EarthJustice, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Sierra Club, and National Wildlife Federation.
In contrast EPA denied ninety-three percent of the requests from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free market think tank. Overall fee waivers were only granted to other think tanks twenty-seven percent of the time. The EPA also denied nearly every request for a fee waiver from states and localities.
Issa and the Republican senators claim that “This is a clear abuse of discretion.”