Republicans are accusing the Environmental Protection Agency of letting a green group write its landmark climate rules, and EPA isn’t happy about it.
Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming accused EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Wednesday of letting the Natural Resources Defense Council dictate its rules, saying the agency had deferred to the group’s “powerful, wealthy, Washington lawyers and lobbyists” while writing the agency’s carbon-pollution rules for existing power plants.
“They [the NRDC] have millions, which gives them access. The EPA has turned a deaf ear on those who don’t,” Barrasso said at an Environment and Public Works Committee hearing.
McCarthy wasn’t having it, and when it came time for questions and answers, when Barrasso asked why EPA had let NRDC write the rule, McCarthy curtly replied, “We did not.”
Later in the hearing, McCarthy said the allegations were a “discredit” to EPA staff who had worked around the clock to meet with stakeholders from all sides to design the climate rule.
And McCarthy’s Senate allies were swift to fire back, with independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont saying it was “remarkable that my Republican colleagues would dare to raise the issue of campaign finance” before ticking down a list of figures on the spending done by the oil and gas industry.
“Is there money coming into the political process from wealthy liberals? The answer is yes,” Sanders said. “But that money is clearly dwarfed by the amount of money coming in from the fossil-fuel industry.”
The GOP charges come in response to a New York Times story this month that said a policy outline drafted by the NRDC had served as the “blueprint” for EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which would require emission cuts of 30 percent from power plants by 2030. NRDC in 2012 released a proposal on how to regulate emissions from power plants that would have set different limits for states and allowed regional flexibility, a strategy EPA embraced in its own rule.
EPA has denied that NRDC exercised clout in writing the rule — a blog post days after the story by Janet McCabe, acting chief of the agency’s air office, described meeting with “literally thousands” of stakeholders during the drafting process.
But that hasn’t stopped critics from seizing on the supposed influence as a sign of what they say is a crooked drafting process. Barrasso on Wednesday promised to follow up with a document request on NRDC’s role, with a jab at the recent disclosure that EPA had lost some emails due to a hard-drive crash.
“If the answer is no, that you will not comply, or that there are more record-keeping mishaps, broken hard drives, lost files, then we’ll know the truth about this agency as well,” Barrasso said.
What We're Following See More »
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz "will not have a major speaking role or preside over daily convention proceedings this week," and is under increasing pressure to resign. The DNC Rules Committee on Saturday named Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge as "permanent chair of the convention." At issue: internal DNC emails leaked by Wikileaks that show how "the DNC favored Clinton during the primary and tried to take down Bernie Sanders by questioning his religion."
- A Rasmussen Reports poll shows Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton, 43%-42%, the fourth week in a row he's led the poll (one of the few poll in which he's led consistently of late).
- A Reuters/Ipsos survey shows Clinton leading 40%-36%. In a four-way race, she maintains her four-point lead, 39%-35%, with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein pulling 7% and 3%, respectively.
- And the LA Times/USC daily tracking poll shows a dead heat, with Trump ahead by about half a percentage point.
In an election between two candidates around 70 years of age, millennials strongly prefer one over the other. Hillary Clinton has a 47%-30% edge among votes 18 to 29. She also leads 46%-36% among voters aged 30 to 44.
According to an online tracking poll released by New Latino Voice, Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump among Latino voters, attracting support from 81 percent of Latino voters, to just 12 percent support for Trump. The results of this poll are consistent with those from a series of other surveys conducted by various organizations. With Pew Research predicting the 2016 electorate will be 12 percent Hispanic, which would be the highest ever, Trump could be in serious trouble if he can't close the gap.