Obama’s EPA Scandal Begins To See The Light Of Day


Currently on the front burner of scandals in the Obama administration are Benghazi, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeting of conservative groups, and the AP scandal. Of course, Fast and Furious is also still very much alive. However, over the past week, two more scandals are coming to light and may be just as big as the others. One of those involves the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Congressional Republicans are accusing the agency of giving unfair preference to environmental groups when it comes to information requests. They are comparing the behavior to that of the IRS in giving additional scrutiny to Tea Party organizations.

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 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."

They did want to make clear that there was no problem is issuing fee waivers and stated, "Congress provided a mechanism for FOIA requesters to obtain a fee waiver in an effort to promote public access to information. An agency may grant a fee waivers if the requested information is likely to contribute to the public understanding of governmental operations and activities, and if the requested information is not in the commercial interests of the requester. A key factor in qualifying for a fee waiver is the requester's ability to convey information to other interested members of the public. For this reason, representatives of the news media, and educational or noncommercial scientific institutions whose purpose is scholarly or scientific research, should receive a fee waiver. Moreover, any requester may obtain a fee waiver if the information requested will aid the public in understanding the operations or activities of the government. Overall, it is critical that agencies make these determinations in an impartial and unbiased way."

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."

As a result, the Inspector General was referred to by Perciasepe, but additional congressional scrutiny needed in the matter. The letter requests that the EPA provide the following documents no later than noon on May 31, 2013:

1. All FOIA fee waiver requests submitted to EPA between January 2 1, 2009 and May 16, 20 13. This production should include all requests for appeal.

2. All response letters from EPA to FOIA fee waiver requestors sent between January 21, 2009, and December 31, 20 12, including all responses to an appeal.

3. All EPA materials used to train FOIA officers on processing requests for FOIA fee waivers.

4. All communications, including e-mail s, regarding FOIA fee waiver requests or appeals, including, but not limited to, training for processing FOIA fee waivers, sent or received between January 2 1,2009 and May 16,201 3.

The committees referenced that will be looking into this matter are the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

This has Democrats worried. As Julian Hattem writes, "President Obama's nominee to lead the EPA, Gina McCarthy, advanced out of committee on a party line vote on Thursday, but Democrats worry about a Republican filibuster on the Senate floor."

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Comments

comments

  • sham-sham

    THOSE BOLSHEVIK J'S ARE THOROUGH, ARE THEY NOT? ATTACK FROM ALL SIDES, AND THERE'S ONLY ABOUT 7MILLION OF THEM IN OUR REPUBLIC! AMAZING LITTLE VERMIN! ANYONE HAVE ANY Z-B ON THEM???? ...HEY, IS THAT THE SOUND OF BREAKING GLASS I HEAR?? - "WHEN EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN."

  • labar

    How much more evidence do the Republicans need in order for them to stop co-operating with zero and his criminals democrat co-conspirators? The senate will never impeach zero, but the Republicans in Congress and the Senate could stop helping them further their agenda until zero changes his way.

    Rubio shouldn't be helping with the immigration bill because it's not good for the country. Then McCain and Lindsy Graham need to stop jumping over and helping the dems pass anything until zero stops the criminal conduct.

    Republicans, stand your ground, and explain it as clearly as possible why you're doing so. Sure the media will not help you, but that's no reason not to do the right thing IDIOTS!

    • Patriot

      Labar - there are many more Democrats in Washington than there are Republicans. The same ones that passed the health care bill so we could read it and find out what is in it is still in Washington. That would be Nancy Pelosi. The controlled senate Harry Reid will NOT let any bill pass from the Republicans period. And they must pass through the Senate. We MUST vote out all Dinos and Rinos in 2014. Oh do not worry the POTUS will be out in full force claiming the republicans have kept him from destroying America and creating JOBS or he will say we are in recovery. He has already hired a PR firm to keep pushing Obama Care that we must have but they are exempt from.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Maggie.Thomas.24 Maggie Thomas

    Obama wont be President forever. A Conservative is coming. It will take a whole session of congress to undo all he has done,so they wont have time to mess up anything else for a whole. Think of that as a good thing. Happy thoughts sometimes do make a difference in what we do about things we DONT like.

    • Patriot

      If we still have an America. With all the people being brought in from other countries who really knows where we are headed and that is the plan of the current administration. Not one person should be allowed in if they cannot find work and will not work. There should be NO WELFARE, NO FREE PHONES, NO FREE HOUSING until they can assure us they are working and keep working. AND I MIGHT ALL NO FREE FOOD.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Doug-Smith/100000515718350 Doug Smith

    Sweetheart deals with with environmental extremist groups. Sue us and we will give in and the court will make it official. Where is the congressional oversight in this power mad group of extremists.

  • popham

    Finally, after we have been reporting this for two weeks, scandals #4 & #5 are
    seeing the "light of day"......the EPA and Kathleen Sebelius's HHS.
    We're now reaching epic proportions with scandals abounding.
    Isn't this fun?........Not.

  • kent

    EPA is a political party now,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, their plan is a bad one.............

  • John Patriot

    The EPA has been Anti American since its inception. I was one of the service station owners who was put out of business in the 80's by the EPA regarding my gasoline storage tanks. They were less than five years old, they passed pressurization tests, there were no leaks and there were no complaints from the public, only by a snot nosed kid working for the EPA who said "I think I smell gas" and condemned the tanks so they could not be refilled. Now the Pakistani's own my station and two others in the area. No tanks were replaced by the Pakistanis afterwards.
    Remember what the Pakistanis did in New York the day after 9/11? They quadrupled the price of gasoline the next day until they were threatened to burn them out by the people.

    • mountaine

      So sorry ! If I would have been there at the time I would have told him, "Ya, the gas I smell is coming from your ass !"

    • Leo Tindall

      " Now the Pakistani's own my station and two others in the area. No tanks were replaced by the Pakistanis afterwards." Sounds like a combination of sore loser syndrome and a corrupt EPA agent to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenneth.bowman.773 Kenneth Bowman

    What most people fail to comprehend is Adolph Hitler used environmental issues to condition the public to governmental intrusive controls. Conditioning people to obey without question or even to complain.

    Explains why people accept feeling up little girls at airports.

    • Leo Tindall

      Godwin's Law.

  • randydutton

    How about the FEMA scandal where they dramatically expanded the properties affected in a flood zone so they could require more flood insurance payments without risk of payout? They went as far as to designate my bluff top property as one, despite my house being 120 feet above the river. They actually force landowners to pay a considerable fee to challenge the map.

    How about the whistleblower, Dr. Paul R. Houser, Hydrometeorologist, fired by Dept of Interior for exposing false justification to tearing down the Klamath hydro-electric dams? http://www.prhouser.com/allega...

    How about the fired IG investigators who uncovered corruption?

    • Leo Tindall

      " They went as far as to designate my bluff top property as one, despite my house being 120 feet above the river. " Which, depending on conditions, may erode dangerously and collapse. But obviously they're just doing it for money.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.young.54 Robert Young

    The EPA; the IRS, the DOJ, and all Federal Agencies must be protected at all costs!

    • http://www.facebook.com/Maggie.Thomas.24 Maggie Thomas

      Agencies with letters as their common names are made to be scARY EVEN THOUGH WE PAY THEIR SALARIES

    • mountaine

      NO ! Are you insane ? They have to be destroyed !!! A.S.A.P !!!!

    • R.Young

      Not only should all Feral Agencies must be protected at all costs, they must continue to grow at an ever expanding rate until they encompass everything!

  • Bar0Ranch

    "Congress provided a mechanism for FOIA requesters to obtain a fee waiver in an effort to promote public access to information."

    BS. Congress did it to allow for manipulation and create disparity. In short Congress purposely created a problem, so they can now address it and pass more laws to 'fix' it. There should be no fee (it's a government service) or a fixed flat fee with no exemption.

  • Paul Leslie

    Everything Dear Leader has done has a scandal attached to it. It all flows from what he is (his character, or more precisely, lack of character). The corruption from Chicago politics. The Marxism from his entire life. He is a bad seed.

    • mountaine

      TOO BAD HIS MOTHER DIDN'T HAVE AN ABORTION !!!

    • Leo Tindall

      He's not a Marxist. Why? Well, do you see goverment-run commune farms, government-run car companies, government-run oil businesses, government-run buisness of any kind. No. Why? Because Obama. is not. a Marxist.

  • SammysDad

    We must keep the pressure on! Obama expects all of these "scandals" to disappear over the horizon with the help of the media, but WE THE PEOPLE must not let up. Encourage your congressmen everyday through calls or emails. KEEP THE PRESSURE ON! OBAMA WILL CRACK.

  • Ron G

    Stop playing games and put those responsible in prison! And not some country club. Put them at hard labor and recognize their rights as they have recognized others. They should have no rights!

    • Leo Tindall

      The point of right is that you can't take them away. Thing you CAN take away aren't called rights, they're called privileges or perks.

  • vigilant1986

    How about looking into the last EPA head? The one with the duplicate email accounts to direct her troops, the one who just dropped out of sight? Why didn't Obama stand by her as he has so many others? She was one of the most destructive people to this country that we have ever had. Something is fishy there.

    • Patriot

      She resigned before the heat got to her. She was caught sending emails using her dogs name Raymond {not sure of the last name} She was very destructive along with all the rest that are totally scamming America and the News Media which does NOT report the truth at all. It is there Truth they report. Most people think Benghazi is someone's name. They have absolutely NO idea how quick we are losing America and there FREEDOMS and Liberties. Shame on the people that have access to computers that don't look up facts. We also need to get RID of the UN and that is a fact. They never vote for America and never have and we give them money - for what? START TALKING AND DO NOT STOP- inform all young people what they have to lose. They won't be happy at all. And make sure they have FACTS.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dennis-Taylor/100001209157583 Dennis Taylor

    Keep the scandals coming,keeping Obama's hands full for the next three and a half years may just save the nation from anymore harm.

    • lokiswife

      There's another military one coming - the Extortion 17 helicopter crash that killed the SEALs who were on the Osama Bin Laden action and other military people. There are a lot of unanswered questions about it, some unusual circumstances. The families of those killed want answers and they are not getting them. If you can't get straight answers to questions, you take it public and demand answers....

    • http://www.facebook.com/Maggie.Thomas.24 Maggie Thomas

      Dont forget the 2 FBI guys who investigatiing the Boston Bombing. They fell. right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dennis-Taylor/100001209157583 Dennis Taylor

    A fourth scandal is all this administration needs,evidently Chicago politics just doesn't work well on a national level.

    • Lynn

      It's more than 4 now.

  • A. Levy

    I doubt there are enough republicans in congress to keep up with all the crimes this Marxist administration is responsible for or involved in.

    Now here's the amazing part. Almost half the dolts in this country still support the Demoncrats, in spite of all that's going on. That's why the elected lying crooks in govt. abuse the people every chance they get. It's because the people deserve it.

    • gingercake5

      Here are 100 reasons to impeach: http://www.knowthelies.com/node/8922

    • Leo Tindall

      Sorry, but Obama's not a Marxist. A bad president, maybe, but I don't see any Communism here.