Monday, December 18, 2017

Inhofe: GAO finding confirms suspicions on EPA’s WOTUS promotion

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman, responded this week to the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) finding that the Environmental Protection Agency’s social media campaigns in support of the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule amounted to covert propaganda.

“GAO’s finding confirms what I have long suspected, that EPA will go to extreme lengths and even violate the law to promote its activist environmental agenda,” Inhofe said. “Courts have already raised questions about the legality of the Waters of the U.S. rule and have temporarily halted it from going into effect. EPA officials act as if the law does not apply to them, but this GAO opinion should serve as another reminder that EPA officials are not above the law.”

Inhofe requested a GAO review of the EPA’s social media use on the WOTUS rule in April, and he has sent several letters to the EPA in coordination with other legislators to request further information on the topic from the agency.

GAO’s determination that EPA violated the ban on covert propaganda and grassroots lobbying is especially troubling, Inhofe said.

“EPA’s illegal attempts to manufacture public support for its Waters of the United States rule and sway Congressional opinion regarding legislation to address that rule have undermined the integrity of the rulemaking process and demonstrated how baseless this unprecedented expansion of EPA regulatory authority really is," he said. "This opinion from GAO also bolsters our oversight of EPA in other areas, as we continue to investigate and raise questions about the process EPA used to develop the Clean Power Plan and its coordination with environmental activists groups.”

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