If unchecked, EPA Administrator Michael Regan’s “climate action plan” will lead to a climate crisis….one involving economics rather than weather.
Legal Insurrection readers may recall that in September, in a break from “presidential norms,” the Biden administration asked 12 officials appointed to military service academy advisory boards by former President Donald Trump to resign or face dismissal.
That isn’t the only havoc Biden has been wreaking among important government boards, either. A new lawsuit claims Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan has illegally fired dozens of independent scientific advisers from two key committees earlier this year and replaced them with academics dependent on the agency for grant money.
Stanley Young, a statistician who has worked on pharmaceutical research and is a former member of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB), alleged in a complaint filed in Washington, DC federal court Thursday that the March 31 purge by Regan showed that the agency “has a problem with dissent.”
Regan bounced all 47 members of the SAB, including Young, as well as all seven members of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC). In a statement at the time, Regan justified the move by citing “process irregularities” under the Trump administration — including an October 2017 ban on academics and non-government officials in receipt of EPA grants simultaneously serving on the advisory panels, which the administrator said “significantly restrict[ed] member eligibility.”
I covered several Obama-era cases of abuse and inept actions the EPA took, most famously the “Yellow River” debacle. Having at least a few impartial representatives among the sea of green justice advocates could be critical.
According to court filings, Young v. EPA asserts that when Regan removed all industry-focused officials, he violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). This act, enacted in 1972, ensured advice provided by committees is “objective” and accessible by the public.
“In its haste to eliminate all traces of industry from its advisory committees, EPA ran roughshod over FACA and its obligation to engage in reasoned decision-making,” the filings read.
The suit said 47 officials have been appointed to the SBA and seven as CASAC members – but not a single member is affiliated with a regulated industry.
In failing to comply with FACA, the filings allege the EPA further violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).
“Industry representation is essential because industry inputs inform the advice of both the Board and the Committee, and the committees’ advice and the resulting EPA actions significantly affect numerous regulated industries,” the suit reads.
By way of background, I would like to note Regan’s appointment was heralded for all the usual reasons.
His elevation to that role was widely praised by environmental groups because of his track record for addressing environmental racism and supporting policy to address climate change.
…Regan began his career as an environmental regulator for the Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton administration and Bush administration from 1998 to 2008. He then joined the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), where he ultimately became the associate vice president for clean energy and a Southeast regional director. He remained at the EDF for over eight years.[
Regan is all about fixing the “climate crisis.”
Regan’s “climate action plan” is a cornucopia of green justice goodies.
“The impacts of climate change are affecting people in every region of the country, threatening lives and livelihoods and damaging infrastructure, ecosystems, and social systems in communities across the nation,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan in his agency’s climate action plan.
Under the plan, EPA will update its financial assistance programs to push for “climate-resilient” spending across the country as well as advance environmental justice with the agency’s partners in state, local and tribal governments. Further, climate adaptation planning will be integrated into all of EPA’s programs and rulemakings.
EPA’s plan also warns about the dangers of climate change, including how higher temperatures will lead to more wildfires and worsen air quality. Rising sea levels and more frequent droughts will also degrade water quality. That increases hazards for everyone, including EPA’s workforce.
“Poor air quality, fires, floods, hurricanes, and other extreme events present risks to EPA employees and contractors engaged in field work, such as sampling, remediation, and inspections,” the plan said.
The Interior Department’s climate action plan emphasizes a transition to renewable energy production on public lands, as well as environmental justice and green jobs.
If Biden’s EPA is left unchecked, there certainly will be a climate crisis…but one that involves the economy and not weather.DONATE
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