Washington, D.C. – Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today responded to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that showed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) broke the law when promoting the agency’s controversial Waters of the U.S. rule.
Chairman Lamar Smith: “GAO’s report provides independent confirmation of the Committee’s investigation that the EPA engaged in covert attempts to skirt anti-lobbying laws in collusion with environmental activists. Earlier this year, I demanded information from EPA and conducted interviews with senior EPA officials about the agency’s inappropriate lobbying of outside organizations to generate grassroots support. At a July hearing this year with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Environmental Subcommittee Chairman Jim Bridenstine presented evidence that the agency and its officials inappropriately pressured EPA personnel to use their social media accounts to promote positive comments on EPA rules, including the Waters of the U.S. rule. Furthermore, the GAO report states that the EPA used appropriated funds for the purpose of grassroots lobbying, which is illegal under U.S. law. GAO’s findings independently confirm that the EPA is willing to break the law in order to implement this Administration’s extreme environmental agenda.”