EPA refutes green group played key role in carbon rule

The Environmental Protection Agency is pushing a different narrative than one published in a New York Times report detailing the influential role one green group played in crafting the presidents' signature climate rule.

The Times published a report Sunday night explaining how three leaders within the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) drafted a climate plan to slash carbon pollution from the nation's existing power plants over the course of two years.

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That same 110-page plan drafted by NRDC, the Times reports, "heavily influenced the president's proposal," and it was written by following a strategy used by the American Petroleum Institute.

While an energy policy expert told the Times the NRDC's "fingerprints" were evident throughout President Obama's proposal, the EPA is saying otherwise.

On Monday, the head of the agency's air and radiation division, Janet McCabe, said "hundreds of ideas" were considered when writing the proposal.

And an EPA spokesperson said Monday that the blog post "was a response" to the Times piece, adding that the agency "wanted to be very clear ... that our proposed rule was developed through a transparent process, no one person or group had outsized influence."

McCabe wrote in a blog post Monday that the proposal was a product of months of data analysis, and that the agency listened to input from "literally thousands of thoughtful stakeholders."

"Over the past year, dozens of EPA scientists, lawyers, economists, health experts, policy analysts, and many others wove the threads we heard along with our own extensive analysis, data, and information into the proposal we announced on June 2. If you look closely you may see some of the threads you contributed or heard throughout the outreach process," McCabe wrote.

McCabe added: "No no one person or group has the only, or best, idea" for the proposal, which the EPA hopes to finalize by summer of 2015.

The regulation mandates states cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.