EPA caught sabotaging fracking
Once again, government misbehavior is coming to light, this time involving the Environmental Protection Agency, and we can thank the inspector general program -- which President Obama would like to gut.
I have written numerous columns regarding President Obama's War against Inspectors General. These are the taxpayer advocates within various government agencies who seek to ensure that fraud, waste and abuse of power is prevented. Hence, Obama determined opposition to them that has gone to such lengths as character assassination, attempts to form a new $30 billion-dollar agency without an Inspector General, failing to replace Inspectors General when they depart.
Now comes news that again illustrates the reasons Obama has tried to gut the Inspector General program: one is investigating possible abused or power at the EPA as part of its crusade against energy producers.
Lachan Markay at the Washington Free Beacon reports:
A federal watchdog is investigating Environmental Protection Agency enforcement actions against a Texas natural gas company that the agency claimed contaminated drinking water through its drilling activities in the state.
The investigation, initiated in July 2012 but announced publicly for the first time on Tuesday, could substantiate allegations that the agency ignored information in its investigation that might have cast doubt on its findings.
According to a letter from the EPA's inspector general, the investigation will seek to determine whether aggressive legal action taken by EPA's Region 6 office against Range Resources "conformed to agency guidelines, regulations, and policy."
The investigation will focus on the EPA's actions against Range Resources, one of the pioneers in fracking. EPA administrator Al Armendariz (whose comments regarding crucifying oil and gas companies led to his later ouster when they came to light via a video) had issued an emergency order against Range, claiming the company had contaminated two natural gas wells with methane released from drilling activities.
The EPA's internal emails show that even the agency's own experts doubted the science behind the allegations.
One EPA employee in a court-ordered deposition has admitted the EPA war aware that groundwater in the area contained methane prior to Range's drilling but chose to hit the delete button when it released its official records used to justify actions against the company.
The EPA has been an adamant foe of domestic energy development in America for the last four years (and beyond). Their actions in Texas and elsewhere have revealed that they will step outside the bounds of the rules and regulations -- and the law -- that governs their agency when it suits them.
This is par for the course in the Age of Obama -- and that is why he also has done everything he can to eviscerate the Inspector General program. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote that "sunlight is the best disinfectant". Inspectors General shine this spotlight on government activities. That is the problem for Obama. He does not want any light shone on his actions-or those taken by his people. The promises of transparency by Barack Obama do not apply when it comes to his own presidency.
He wants citizens to be kept in the dark. Why?