June 2015

EPA's CWA rule: For the kidz

EPA’s CWA rule: For the kidz

Plainly, the Obama administration has politicized the Environmental Protection Agency to an unprecedented degree.

Take, for example, the unseemly nexus between the agency and green special interests. Environmental groups like Sierra Club and NRDC spent untold resources getting President Obama elected; in turn, they were given the run of the mill at the EPA.

Of course, special interest regulatory capture is merely a variant of old-fashioned spoils politics, but the agency also evinces a more contemporary obsession with political “optics.” Consider the “strategic communications” memo unearthed by my colleague Chris Horner. Early in the Obama administration, the memo was circulated among EPA heavies—including Richard Windsor—and it makes the ultra-cynical case that the agency should justify its impending climate regulatory regime on the basis of asthmatic children instead of climate change, because no one cares about polar ice caps. Very slick.

We got more of the same last week when EPA promulgated a regulation that vastly expands federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The rule’s roll out was obviously focus-group tested.   [click to continue…]