The Minority Staffers on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee issued a report on the Beal/Brenner/EPA Scandal.
This well written and comprehensive report of EPA top leadership misconduct for more than a decade, also reveals the Carol Browner mid 90s strategy for pushing forward an aggressive agenda.
The Report is a thorough and in depth exegesis on the scandal and the corrupt practices in the EPA that are reprehensible.
The report was written under the guidance of two Senate Staffers :
Luke Bolar — Luke_Bolar@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-6176
Cheyenne Steel — Cheyenne_Steel@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-6176
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (Minority)
A few items
From the executive summary:
John Beale is the character from the bizarre tale of the fake CIA agent who used his perch at the EPA to bilk the American taxpayer out of more than a million dollars. Even Jon Stewart, host of the popular Daily Show, featured Beale’s bizarre tale as “Charlatan’s Web” on his program in December 2013. Before his best friend Robert Brenner hired him to work at EPA, Beale had no legislative or environmental policy experience and wandered between jobs at a
small-town law firm, a political campaign, and an apple farm. Yet at the time he was recruited to EPA, Brenner arranged to place him in the highest pay scale for general service employees, a post that typically is earned by those with significant experience.
The report also reviews in depth the strategies of the EPA that were concocted by Beale to put EPA in the driver’s seat on air pollution regulations.
During the Clinton Administration, Beale and Brenner were very powerful members of EPA’s senior leadership team within the Office of Air and Radiation, the office responsible for issuing the most expensive and onerous federal regulations. Beale himself was the lead EPA official for one of the most controversial and far reaching regulations ever issued by the Agency, the 1997 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Ozone and Particulate Matter
(PM). These standards marked a turning point for EPA air regulations and set the stage for the exponential growth of the Agency’s power over the American economy. Delegating the NAAQS to Beale was the result of Brenner’s facilitating the confidence of EPA elites, making Beale the gatekeeper for critical information throughout the process. Beale accomplished this
coup based on his charisma and steadfast application of the belief that the ends justify the means.
And here was the 1997 strategy that was one of the reasons I became so committed to stopping the EPA on ozone and small particles.
Brenner was known to have an objective on NAAQS, and would have done whatever was necessary to accomplish his desired outcome. Together, Brenner and Beale implemented a plan, which this report refers to as “EPA’s Playbook.” The Playbook includes several tools first
employed in the 1997 process, including sue-and-settle arrangements with a friendly outside group, manipulation of science, incomplete cost-benefit analysis reviews, heavy-handed
management of interagency review processes, and capitalizing on information asymmetry, reinforced by resistance to transparency. Ultimately, the guiding principal behind the Playbook
is the Machiavellian principal that the ends will justify the means.
In the case of the 1997 NAAQS, the Playbook started with a sue-and-settle agreement with the American Lung Association, which established a compressed timeline to draft and issue
PM standards. This timeline was further compressed when EPA made the unprecedented decision to simultaneously issue new standards for both PM and Ozone. Issuing these standards in tandem and under the pressure of the sue-and-settle deadline, Beale had the mechanism he
needed to ignore opposition to the standards — EPA simply did not have the time to consider dissenting opinions.
The techniques of the Playbook were on full display in the “Beale Memo,” a confidential document that was leaked to Congress during the controversy, which revealed how he pressured
the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to back off its criticism of the NAAQS and forced them to alter their response to Congress in 1997. EPA also brushed aside objections raised by Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Energy, the White House Council of Economic Advisors, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Academy of Sciences, and EPA’s own scientific advisers — the Clean Air
Science Advisory Committee.
These circumstances were compounded by EPA’s “policy call” to regulate PM2.5 for the first time in 1997. PM2.5 are ubiquitous tiny particles, the reduction of which EPA used to support both the PM and Ozone NAAQS. In doing so, the Playbook also addressed Beale’s
approach to EPA’s economic analysis: overstate the benefits and underrepresent the costs of federal regulations. This technique has been applied over the years and burdens the American people today, as up to 80% of the benefits associated with all federal regulations are attributed to supposed PM2.5 reductions.
Doesn’t that take your breath away–we are a 1st world Banana Republic or old Chinese Mandarin Dynasty.