Earlier this week, House Republicans launched an investigation into what they are deeming “improper influence” by a national environmental group in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) creation of a federal rule to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.
Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee are working together on the investigation. According to The Blaze, the groups sent letters cooperatively to the EPA and Natural Resources Defense Council earlier this week to ask for more documents from 2009 and concerning the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) involvement in the design of the carbon rule.
“According to recent news reports, it appears that NRDC played an outsized role in drafting the EPA’s proposed regulations for carbon emissions from existing power plants,” one of the letters charged. “Such collusive activities provide the NRDC and their financial backers with an inappropriate opportunity to wield the broad powers of the executive branch. Such unprecedented access also violates the due process principles found in the Administrative Powers Act.”
Supposedly, the investigation was sparked after a New York Times report was published that stated the NRDC provided blueprints used for the rules and “heavily influenced the President’s proposal.”
House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, a Republican from California, and Louisiana Senator David Vitter are requesting that the EPA and the NRDC hand over documents and communications that relate to the carbon pollution rule on existing power plants from 2009 to the present. “Sen. Vitter, Rep. Issa, and their colleagues are acting as if fighting for public health were an un-American activity,” said Ed Chen, of NRDC. “Democratic and Republican presidents dating back to Dwight Eisenhower have worked to curb pollution and protect our natural resources.”
Republicans have asked for all documents regarding the federal carbon emission rule to be provided by September 16.