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Friday, May 31, 2013

EPA Accused of Showing Partiality to Green Groups

From Watchdog:
That’s why the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, the parent organization of Watchdog.org, filed a Freedom of Information Act request with theEnvironmental Protection Agency in January.  Specifically, we asked the agency to provide us with copies of correspondence it had with green groups going back to August 2012. This would include email, snail mail and other written reports. We picked August as the cutoff so our request would correspond with the election season when energy policy was a hot topic of discussion.
What we asked for
We narrowed our request to include correspondence that would impact the Marcellus Shale, which cuts across Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Maryland,Virginia and West Virginia.In our FOIA, we asked the agency to provide us with “any discussion and correspondence with outside groups that concerns potential regulatory action that would impact the fracking process.”
We also limited the FOIA to the green groups most active in the Marcellus Shale. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Greenpeace, The Sierra ClubPhysicians for Social Responsibility, Union of Concerned ScientistsEarthjustice, Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund, and Earthworks are among the environmental groups named in the request. We also asked for communication between agency and the Park Foundation, based in Ithaca, N.Y., which is largely responsible for funding green activism in the region.
Franklin has yet to receive the information it requested. In a phone message to Watchdog earlier this month, an EPA representative said we could expect a response “shortly.” In February, the agency sent a letter to Franklin asking us to address six different factors, which are used to determine whether a fee waiver will be granted. After addressing those six factors the EPA still denied Franklin’s fee-waiver request and our request for expedited processing.
Read the whole article here, where it goes on to detail how the EPA has granted fee-waiver requests to green groups 92 percent of the time and denied them to conservative and free-market critics 93 percent of the time.

What do you think of how the EPA is handling their business?


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