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Thread: GOP lawmakers liken EPA info tactics to IRS targeting of Tea Party

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    GOP lawmakers liken EPA info tactics to IRS targeting of Tea Party

    In a letter to Acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe on Friday, four Republicans accused the agency of routinely waiving fees for environmental groups who seek documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) but making conservative think tanks and state and local governments pay full price.

    The legislators pointed to data that show that 92 percent of all fee waivers granted by the EPA were to requests from environmental groups.

    Read more: GOP lawmakers liken EPA info tactics to IRS targeting of Tea Party - The Hill's RegWatch


    Letter: http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/ind...1-b1bbd2d1e27a

    Data: http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/ind...b-054f6236a4de

    My revelation: Who knew Conservatives had environmental groups?
    There's no greater irony than a Trump supporter pointing out hypocrisy; Unless it's Trump himself.

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    Re: Scandal 4: EPA Targets Conservative Groups

    Quote Originally Posted by ModerateGOP View Post

    My revelation: Who knew Conservatives had environmental groups?
    They are conservation groups

    Republican Environmental Group Seeks To Put Conservation Back On The Conservative Agenda

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    Re: Scandal 4: EPA Targets Conservative Groups

    Well, we're busy reorganizing. The old Heritage Foundation is becoming the Environmental Legacy Foundation, and so on.

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    Re: Scandal 4: EPA Targets Conservative Groups

    It's alot like the EPA shutting down coal and oil projects over a death of an endangered or threatened species while giving wind and solar plants a free pass to smash desert tortoises and chop up eagles.

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    Re: Scandal 4: EPA Targets Conservative Groups

    The EPA waives FOIA fees for groups that have a legitimate, identified purpose for gathering the information requested. One criteria is that it must show some sort of goal of improving public knowledge.

    A group making these FOIA requests for the purpose of checking on the FOIA process at the EPA? Doesn't meet this criteria.

    Conservative groups making redundant, overreaching, malicious FOIA requests for the purpose of slowing down actual work? Also doesn't meet this criteria.
    He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear
    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: Scandal 4: EPA Targets Conservative Groups

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    The EPA waives FOIA fees for groups that have a legitimate, identified purpose for gathering the information requested. One criteria is that it must show some sort of goal of improving public knowledge.

    A group making these FOIA requests for the purpose of checking on the FOIA process at the EPA? Doesn't meet this criteria.

    Conservative groups making redundant, overreaching, malicious FOIA requests for the purpose of slowing down actual work? Also doesn't meet this criteria.
    I'm really not familiar with any of this (although I do know conservatives who are passionate conservationists too), so could you offer examples of conservative groups "making redundant, overreaching, malicious FOIA requests for the purpose of slowing down actual work"?

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    Re: Scandal 4: EPA Targets Conservative Groups

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    The EPA waives FOIA fees for groups that have a legitimate, identified purpose for gathering the information requested. One criteria is that it must show some sort of goal of improving public knowledge.

    A group making these FOIA requests for the purpose of checking on the FOIA process at the EPA? Doesn't meet this criteria.

    Conservative groups making redundant, overreaching, malicious FOIA requests for the purpose of slowing down actual work? Also doesn't meet this criteria.
    There are nine exemptions allowed under the FOIA. Nothing you've mentioned even remotely corresponds to those exemptions.

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    Re: Scandal 4: EPA Targets Conservative Groups

    Quote Originally Posted by nota bene View Post
    I'm really not familiar with any of this (although I do know conservatives who are passionate conservationists too), so could you offer examples of conservative groups "making redundant, overreaching, malicious FOIA requests for the purpose of slowing down actual work"?
    Part of the "climategate" controversy was that the CRU scientists were not responding appropriately to FOIA requests. (which the various investigations concluded was accurate, the team was not being as transparent as they should be) Several of their emails describe FOIA requests being made for things like "all emails sent by so and so," or documentation of every revision made to a particular paper, and notations as to what was changed and why. Numerous FOIA requests were made for data that... was publicly available already. Steve McIntyre apparently made an FOIA request for data he already had.

    (side note: the investigations that criticized the CRU's lack of transparency also concluded that there wasn't any actual fraud. not hard to figure out if you actually track down the context of various emails)

    edit: Not that I want to derail this into a discussion of climategate. I'm merely pointing out that not all FOIA requests are equal. If conservative groups failed to demonstrate some public interest behind their request, they wouldn't have the fee waived.

    Quote Originally Posted by humbolt View Post
    There are nine exemptions allowed under the FOIA. Nothing you've mentioned even remotely corresponds to those exemptions.
    We're talking about waiving the fees, not denying the FOIA request entirely.
    FOIA Update: New Fee Waiver Policy Guidance
    He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear
    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: Scandal 4: EPA Targets Conservative Groups

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post

    edit: Not that I want to derail this into a discussion of climategate. I'm merely pointing out that not all FOIA requests are equal. If conservative groups failed to demonstrate some public interest behind their request, they wouldn't have the fee waived.



    We're talking about waiving the fees, not denying the FOIA request entirely.
    FOIA Update: New Fee Waiver Policy Guidance
    I think you're missing the point on purpose here. Look. Updates to policy are not my interest. Any administration would have them. We're talking about a level playing field here, and not flexible definitions of exactly what constitutes "public interest". The point is that the policy you describe is itself discriminatory based on precisely what you contend. If you can't see that, then you're lost in the partisan soup.

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    Re: Scandal 4: EPA Targets Conservative Groups

    Quote Originally Posted by humbolt View Post
    I think you're missing the point on purpose here. Look. Updates to policy are not my interest. Any administration would have them. We're talking about a level playing field here, and not flexible definitions of exactly what constitutes "public interest". The point is that the policy you describe is itself discriminatory based on precisely what you contend. If you can't see that, then you're lost in the partisan soup.
    Missing the point? You brought up exceptions to the FOIA. Completely irrelevant. Certain types of documents are not covered by the FOIA and will not be given out on request. What happened here is not that.

    Is there some other point I was supposed to glean from your one sentence post?

    The playing field is the same as before. If conservative groups are unable to meet the criteria for a fee waiver, they don't get a fee waiver. The group that conducted the survey made a bunch of FOIA requests... for the purposes of conducting a public survey. They didn't have actual need or desire for the information, they weren't planning on making the data available to the public. They don't get a fee waiver for that.

    The other groups? What information did they request, and what did they want it for?

    It's not enough to say "this group was denied the waiver more than others." Why they were denied is important.
    Last edited by Deuce; 05-20-13 at 01:42 PM.
    He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear
    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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