A newly released cache of government emails offers more evidence of behind-the-scenes collusion between the Environmental Protection Agency and green groups in crafting greenhouse-gas regulations, including an effort by one green lobbyist to enlist the EPA in fundraising.
The Energy & Environment Legal Institute issued a report Tuesday based on 492 communications obtained last week through open-records requests, one week before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear a challenge to the Obama administration’s sweeping Clean Power Plan.
The documents include EPA associate policy administrator Michael Goo’s use of a private Yahoo account for what he described as a “channel” for “offline chats” with environmental advocacy groups, including the Clean Air Task Force, as well as then-EPA administrator Lisa Jackson’s description of the Clean Energy Group as an “industry validator” for climate-change regulations.
“EPA apparently sees no distinction between its public interest function and the special interests that lobby it,” said E&E general counsel David Schnare in a statement. “The courts need to take a hard look at this collusive behavior, and carefully examine the legal implications of EPA drafting rules in this fashion.”
The report also shows Clean Air Task Force advocacy director Conrad Schneider brainstorming on how to use his EPA connections to boost fundraising in an email to Mr. Goo subtitled, “How you can help CATF with funders.”
“We can tell foundation program officers that we are engaged in discussions with highly-placed officials in the Obama Administration regarding viable pathways forward on 111(d),” referring to the Clean Power Plan rule, says Mr. Schneider in a November 2012 email.