GOP: EPA's illegal 'propaganda’ may extend to climate rule

GOP: EPA's illegal 'propaganda’ may extend to climate rule
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House Republicans think the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) reportedly illegal “covert propaganda” in support of its regulations may have extended to the landmark climate change rule.

On the heels of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report from Monday accusing the EPA of breaking the law in promoting and lobbying for its major water rule, Republican leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are asking the EPA if its social media campaigns for the climate rule were above board.

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The findings about the water rule “call into question the use of social media to promote other rulemaking activity,” Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and other leaders said in a letter to the EPA.

“For example, EPA undertook an extensive social media messaging campaign in support of its Clean Power Plan, authoring blog posts, and posting messages on Facebook and Twitter,” the lawmakers said.

The Republicans did not cite any specific social media posts that it says might have violated the law.

EPA spokeswoman Melissa Harrison said all of its social media use is legal and it prioritizes educating the public about its activities.

“The agency is continually learning and refining its approaches, both to make sure communications are effective and to ensure that we continue to be in compliance with the law,” Harrison said in a statement. “EPA stands by its outreach efforts on the Clean Power Plan.”

— This story was updated at 2:35 p.m.