GOP Launches Probe of ‘Improper Influence’ on EPA Climate Rule

Republicans are investigating what they call “improper influence” from a national green group on the Obama administration’s signature Environmental Protection Agency climate change regulation.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, as well as Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, are demanding the EPA and the environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) hand over documents on the organization’s involvement in drafting the proposed carbon pollution rules.

The investigation is based on a New York Times report that said the NRDC provided the blueprint used for the rules, and “heavily influenced the president’s proposal.”

While the EPA has repeatedly slammed the Times piece, defending its proposal and employees it says sifted through thousands of comments and held countless meetings, Republicans remain unconvinced.

“It appears that NRDC’s unprecedented access to high-level EPA officials allowed it to influence EPA policy decisions and achieve its own private agenda. Such collusive activities provide the NRDC, and their financial backers, with an inappropriate opportunity to wield the broad powers of the executive branch,” the lawmakers wrote to the EPA and the NRDC.