Senators demand transparency on EPA interactions with environmentalists

“It is important for Congress to understand the relationship between EPA and nongovernmental organizations, particularly as it relates to the coordination and influence over public policymaking,” the letter stated. “Moreover, these relationships have the potential to push states and other stakeholders out of the process. Accordingly, releasing the correspondence between the EPA and these entitles is in the public interest.”

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The senators have been seeking information from the EPA for nearly a year, saying the documents could prove that the agency coordinated lawsuits from environmental groups in order to push the administrations’ “War on Fossil Fuels.”

“Throughout the current Administration, your agency has regularly brokered settlement agreements to carry out specific regulatory activities after being sued by environmental groups,” the senators wrote. “ 'Sue and Settle' is a hallmark of the Obama Administration's environmental policymaking across agencies, with EPA being the most egregious example. These exclusively negotiated deals circumvent transparency, exclude impacted parties and have far reaching economic consequences."

Inhofe and Vitter called on the EPA to work more closely and collaboratively with states while implementing environmental regulations under the Clean Air Act.

Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) also signed the letter to Perciasepe.

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