Republican: EPA 'rewards its friends and punishes its opponents'

"We cannot afford a government that systematically goes against groups that it opposes, and yet rewards groups that it favors," he said on the House floor. Whitfield's charges come just as the Internal Revenue Service has admitted that some of its officials were targeting conservative groups for closer scrutiny.

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Whitfield gave two recent examples that he said demonstrates EPA's political favoritism. The first is the result of a lawsuit by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which he said demonstrated that the EPA waives fees associated with providing information when that information is requested by environmental groups.

Whitfield said these fees for requests under the Freedom of Information Act are waived 92 percent of the time for these groups. But he said fees are assessed 93 percent of the time when information is requested by industry groups or others that the EPA disagrees with, he said.

He also alleged that the EPA only fines oil and gas companies and others for the death of protected birds, but not green energy entities like wind farms. Whitfield said more than half a million protected birds are killed each year by wind farms.

"And yet, this administration has never fined or prosecuted a wind energy company, even those that flout the law repeatedly," he said. "Instead, the government is shielding the industry from liability and helping keep the scope of the deaths secret."

In contrast, he said oil and gas companies are fined millions of dollars each year for these deaths.

"If you kill an eagle, and you happen to be a private business or you're a power generator or you're an oil company or a chemical company, you're going to be fined," he said. "But if you're a wind energy company, even though the bird you killed may be protected under the Endangered Species Act, you're going to be protected.

"America will not stand for a government that rewards its friends and punishes its opponents in a … discriminatory fashion."