The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) broke federal anti-lobbying laws during the Waters of the US (WOTUS) rule-making according to the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO). The findings support the claims of opponents to the rule and indicate that the rule-making process was tainted in addition to problems with the rule itself.
The GAO found that the EPA ‘violated prohibitions against publicity or propaganda and grassroots lobbying’ with its social media campaign, which encouraged public comment in support of its rule, particularly efforts to urge members of Congress to support the rule. This will be helpful in NSSGA’s litigation against the rule, which charges EPA of “engaging in an unprecedented advocacy campaign that led to a distorted and biased comment process.”
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said GAO’s determination that EPA violated a ban on covert propaganda and grassroots lobbying is especially troubling. “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 rule-making process and demonstrated how baseless this unprecedented expansion of EPA regulatory authority really is,” he said.
Adapted from press release by Rebecca Bowden
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/16122015/gao-determine-epa-has-broken-federal-anti-lobbying-laws-191/