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Biden’s EPA Faces Lawsuit for Illegally Stacking Science Advisory panels

Biden’s EPA Faces Lawsuit for Illegally Stacking Science Advisory panels

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.[7] He then joined the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), where he ultimately became the associate vice president for clean energy and a Southeast regional director.[8] 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.

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Comments

The Friendly Grizzly | October 20, 2021 at 7:07 am

I would like to take this moment to thank REPUBLICAN president Richard Milhous Nixon for signing the EPA’s existence into law.

    And wage and price controls.
    And decoupling our currency from the gold standard.

    Still waiting for a Republican president who governs according to conservative, constitutional principles. Reagan said all the right things, but rarely made the effort to see them done. Trump was —> almost there <— but failed. It's not that hard a standard to understand.

    I give Trump great props for coming as close as he did despite his life background of being 1) a person with zero political experience, and 2) a lifelong Democrat.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to henrybowman. | October 20, 2021 at 3:03 pm

      ,

      Still waiting for a Republican president who governs according to conservative, constitutional principles.

      You have a long wait. No Republican will ever go that far on anything they have given lip service all these years.

      We really DO need a new, viable political party.

      As for Reagan, he made good speeches. He did not bring the collapse of the soviet union; it was already teetering. He talked a good story about shutting down a bunch of agencies, departments, bureaux, etc. I can think of but one: I believe the US Tea Commission finally closed down during his administration.

      I’m old enough to remember when, as governor, he lowered California’s sales tax from 4% to 5%. That is not a typo.

      Milhouse in reply to henrybowman. | October 20, 2021 at 5:02 pm

      Reagan tried, but he had a hostile congress and didn’t get anywhere. Trump didn’t even believe in these principles, but he governed as if he did, and he achieved far more than Reagan did. So in practical terms Trump was the best president since Coolidge, despite himself.

    Indeed. Just last week a friend told me that he was a “moderate Republican — a Nixon and Reagan Republican”. I had to explain that Nixon was the exact opposite of Reagan, that he was a believer in big government, in central control, in everything the Republican Party is supposed to be against, and that Reagan had campaigned against for decades; the only thing that made him a Republican was that he fought communists.

I echo the Grizz.

Nixon was forward-looking in the tradition of another great republican – Teddy Roosevelt (the republican Roosevelt) who established the modern National Parks system and the US Forest Service and did more than any president – until Nixon – to advance conservation and the environment

Steven Brizel | October 20, 2021 at 9:19 am

EPA was never intended when it was signed into law to be the advance guard of a so called green revolution. This is more proof that the environmental agenda today is like a watermelon-green on the outside and red on the inside.

Meh, file the suits and see what happens. The CT will decide if these firings to stack this and other agencies advisory boards are permitted. If so then reverse the process when a r admin takes power.

Yes takes power, not assumes office. That’s how our d/prog political opponents view elections. A quest for power and control. It’s well past time we played for keeps just as hard and just as dirty as our opponents.

The Friendly Grizzly | October 20, 2021 at 12:32 pm

. <blockquote. If so then reverse the process when a r admin takes power.

The “r” will do that just as fast as they ended NPR, CPB, PBS, Amtrak, Dept of Ed, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

    Grizz,

    That’s the distinction between assume office to play nice and stay on the DC cocktail party invite list v taking power and running roughshod over the d/prog as they do to r.

    Past time for r to stop worrying about being called an ‘ist’ of some sort and play hardball to maximize the agenda the electorate sent them to town for.

“environmental racism?”–what an absolute crock–another race grifter is promoted for creating disorder, eliminating any real scope of scientific/independent input and pushing “green” bs with the obvious intent of more “wealth redistribution(extortion)”

If Biden was secretly implementing a nefarious white supremacist plan to make all of his black hires look like incompetent, ideologically blinkered, race-baiting hacks…what would he be doing differently?

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