Democratic senators tell DC Court that fossil fuel industry has infiltrated EPA and are dictating its policies
The Senators filed a friend-of-the-court brief filed in a lawsuit that challenges the Environmental Protection Agency’s pathetic replacement of the Obama EPA’s Clean Power Plan designed to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. Short version: the replacement plan will mean many more deaths and ailments will afflict people than would have been the casse under the Obama plan.
By Meteor Blades
The lawsuit was brought by the American Lung Association, with support from several state governments, environmental organizations, and 70 members of Congress.
Five Democratic senators filed the brief:
- Sheldon Whitehouse
- Ed Markey
- Jeff Merkley
- Brian Schatz
- Kirsten Gillibrand
It states that leading EPA officials supposed to regulate the fossil fuel industry have strong ties to it and are pushing policy favorable to it. As Dana Drugmund at DeSmog writes,
“Within this context, the senators argue that no court could possibly conclude that EPA is engaged in reasoned, unbiased decision-making.
“… The process of repealing and replacing the Clean Power Plan began under Pruitt’s leadership at EPA, and continued with his successor Andrew Wheeler. Wheeler was a top lobbyist for dirty energy interests, including coal company Murray Energy. In lobbying for Murray, Wheeler earned nearly $3 million for his lobbying firm. Repealing the Clean Power Plan was at the top of Murray CEO Bob Murray’s wish list that he circulated among the new Trump administration.
“Another chief architect of the Clean Power Plan replacement was Bill Wehrum, former head of EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. He resigned in June 2019 amid a congressional investigation into his contact with former industry clients. Prior to assuming his EPA position, Wehrum was an attorney representing fossil fuel companies and trade groups. His clients included big names like ExxonMobil, Chevron, Koch Industries, the American Petroleum Institute, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, Duke Energy, Dominion Resources, and Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG). “Wehrum met with UARG and several electric utilities to discuss replacing the [Clean Power Plan] just weeks after he assumed his duties as Assistant Administrator,” the senators’ brief points out.”
Bad things* come in threes.
*key errors in @EPA's rationale for repealing the Clean Power Plan
We filed an amicus brief in the DC Circuit opposing the Trump admin's so-called Affordable Clean Energy rule. Check it out.https://t.co/I9b7KGciqn
— Policy Integrity (@PolicyIntegrity) April 27, 2020
EPA chief Andrew Wheeler is in Kentucky today promoting the ACE rule.
Can't help but think of the Kentucky coal miner with black lung who drove 3 hours to WV last November to beg the EPA to enact the Clean Power Plan: "We're literally dying." https://t.co/q4pb8zUIm1 pic.twitter.com/7rSUdU5EtT
— Alexander Kaufman (@AlexCKaufman) August 24, 2018
(Crossposted with DailyKos. Photo by Joe Peischi for NOAA)