Plans by EPA and Sierra Club to cripple coal industry exposed by FOIA Documents Obtained as a Result of E&E Legal FOIA Request .
Washington, D.C. -- A 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal), under its former name, the American Tradition Institute, has produced several hundred documents affirming the uncomfortably close working relationship between the current U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) and activist left-wing environmental groups in their effort to make abundant energy resources, particularly coal, much more scarce in America.
These records come in a series of productions in litigation spawned by two specific FOIA requests -- a lawsuit filed after an EPA FOIA specialist admitted she and her colleague were instructed to do no work on the requests, as EELI counsel Chris Horner attested in a sworn affidavit. Mostly e-mails between EPA top officials and the Sierra Club, the records illustrate how certain EPA employees with backgrounds working for green pressure groups serve as liaisons to those groups in advancing a shared agenda. Other documents affirm the close advisory role the pressure groups play in key EPA actions, like EPA's recently published New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for new coal-fired plants.
This collaboration takes place in many forms: emails providing, e.g., a list of coal plants the green groups insist any EPA standards block from coming or staying on-line, meetings at EPA and at the green groups’ offices where EPA comes to brief them, frequent conference calls, and at the Starbucks at Washington’s J.W. Marriott, across the street from EPA.
The latter is reminiscent of the Caribou Coffee revelations about this most transparent, White House, in history arranging off-site meetings with other lobbyists to avoid signing them in to the building (see, e.g., New York Times reportage of this subterfuge ).