Cover image from Truth Revolt
It’s not the slapdown all good Constitution loving Americans have been itching for, but this week the Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency was notified via a General Accounting Office report that their efforts to sell the Clean Water Act to the American people – and get the people to call their congresscritters in support of the land grab – were out of bounds according to the law. The New York Times has the scoop:
The E.P.A. rolled out a social media campaign on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and even on more innovative tools such as Thunderclap to counter opposition to its water rule, which imposes new restrictions on how land near certain surface waters can be used. The agency said the rule would prevent pollution in drinking water sources. Farmers, business groups and Republicans have called the rule flagrant government overreach.
But in the E.P.A.’s counterattack, the G.A.O. says agency officials engaged in “covert propaganda” on behalf of Mr. Obama’s water policy by concealing the fact that its social messages were coming from the E.P.A. The agency essentially became lobbyists for its cause by including links that directed people to advocacy organizations.
The illegal activity in question is known as “covert propaganda.” Some post goes viral, or gets passed around enough that the people reading it don’t know the EPA originated the post. As it happens, federal law for letting the people know about government action prohibits this. Whether or not the EPA intended such information to go viral the way it did is irrelevant. It happened. Government agencies may not engage in propaganda, which cryptic publicity and influencing public opinion is at its core, nor may they engage in grass-roots pressure or lobbying. Information on government programs must be matter of fact and to the point. In the push to sell the public in the Clean Water Act and counter the Republican and TRULY grass roots message that this rule is a MASSIVE overreach in government power, the EPA ignored the law.
“GAO’s finding confirms what I have long suspected, that EPA will go to extreme lengths and even violate the law to promote its activist environmental agenda,” Senator Jim Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma and chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee who is pressing to block the rule, said in a statement Monday. “EPA’s illegal attempts to manufacture public support for its Waters of the United States rule and sway Congressional opinion regarding legislation to address that rule have undermined the integrity of the rule-making process and demonstrated how baseless this unprecedented expansion of EPA regulatory authority really is.”
Currently, there is a court order holding back implementation of the Clean Water Act after a federal appeals court was successfully swayed by those who see the rule for what it is – an Agenda 21 style land grab – to suspend the rule in October. At this time, the rule is not final and the EPA is pushing back against Republican efforts to do away with the rule altogether.