August 14, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, ranking member of Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Oversight, today sent letters to Curt Spalding, administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Region 1, and Nancy Sutley, chairman on the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), questioning apparent coordination of CEQ and the Organizing for Action (OFA) on events today pushing the President’s climate change agenda and the potential violation of the Hatch Act.
In the letters, Inhofe requested disclosure of documents or records between EPA Region 1 and CEQ or OFA as well as any document or correspondence regarding the planning and scheduling of the CEQ events. According to the Hatch Act, federal employees in the executive branch, except certain designated officials such as the President or Vice President, are prohibited from engaging in political campaign activities.
In the letters, Inhofe wrote: “Any inappropriate coordination being conducted among the White House, Members of Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and OFA is of grave concern. The OFA activities are clearly political in nature, solely targeting Republican members of the House and Senate for campaign purposes. This is alarming because on February 25 of this year, after reports surfaced that OFA was selling quarterly meetings with the President in exchange for $500,000 donations, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney claimed that OFA was an independent organization and would not be engaged in political activities. Cleary OFA is now engaging in political activities and it appears as though they are closely coordinating efforts with EPA and CEQ, negating their independence.”
On Tuesday, OFA announced a list of climate change deniers in Congress and said the organization will soon be holding events in congressional districts of many of these lawmakers. The day following the announcement, the White House held environmental advocacy events in Providence, RI and Hartford, Conn.
“The Obama Administration’s apparent coordination with the campaign arm and the White House leave me no choice but to investigate,” said Inhofe. “I also find it quite interesting that to end this week of coincidental events on climate change alarmism, certain liberal media is showing a climate change special with reportedly no interviews from those challenging the theory. There seems to be a coincidental coordination between the White House, the President’s campaign, and the liberal media that is weaving a false and potentially harmful narrative of alarmism. This agenda will leave our nation less secure, less prosperous and less informed. Just as the OFA has called for light to be shed on members of Congress not in lockstep with the President’s agenda, I will work to shed light on the coincidence of coordination in the Obama Administration we continue to see unfold.”