EPA Heavily Redacts Official’s Recusal Information

Reposted from Government Accountability & Oversight


The Biden Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has released selected, often heavily redacted records pertaining to the conflicts and recusals for Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, and Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation (i.e., “climate”), Joe Goffman.

The recusal statement is notable for what it does and does not include. As for the redactions, they appear to be heavy-handed given past EPA practice. The refusal in full to release draft recusals appears to be an improper withholding of the “back-and-forth” known to be subject to release.

Readers may recall Energy Policy Advocate’s amicus brief in State of New York et al., v EPA, which revealed Goffman’s role consulting for progressive attorneys general on particular regulatory matters presently before USEPA, and under Goffman’s present remit. For example, the scheme to use the “NAAQS” regime to sneak in what the Wall Street Journal called “Biden’s ‘Back Door’ Climate Plan”.

There is no mention of any such work or recusal in what USEPA did release…including the recusal statement (it seems that learning what the drafts contain will require litigation). As such, these records sharpen the question — increasingly appropriate for Biden’s climate “all-star” team — of what Goffman disclosed about his prior work to his ethics officer(s) and when he he disclosed it.

The release is timely, incomplete though it may be. Appointees can remain in an “Acting” capacity for a limited number of days. There is scuttlebutt that the Biden White House intends to game the law and calendar to keep Goffman in place as “Acting” AA for as long as possible to put off or even avoid subjecting him to the scrutiny/accountability of the confirmation process.

The “Back Door Climate Plan” and the past consulting with AGs adverse to USEPA in litigation on matters in Goffman’s portfolio may well be two reasons for that.

In an interview last week with Politico — he is getting around these days (and ducking the same question, as well as at least one question about the NAAQS scheme) — Goffman dodged a question whether he expects a change in his status as only one of two confirmable USEPA appointees about whom the White has yet to produce paperwork.

Do you want to be nominated to be the assistant administrator for air and radiation?

I haven’t thought about that in quite a while. I’m extremely content with what I’m doing now on a day-to-day basis.

The recusal letter and what it contains — as well as what it does not — seems likely to be an issue in the event the Biden Administration seeks to formalize Mr. Goffman’s role and subject him to the required accountability. Given the increasingly obvious reluctance to facilitate congressional oversight and exploration of these activities, presumably the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee plans to schedule a hearing on its own.

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June 9, 2021 2:18 pm

Too many stupid people in Government. This is the sort of man you need, someone who aims high and does not let science get in the way.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) during a House Committee on Natural Resources hearing on Tuesday. “I was informed by the … director of NASA that they have found that the moon’s orbit is changing slightly and so is the earth’s orbit around the sun, and we know there’s been significant solar flare activity,” he said as he asked a question of the Forest Service’s Jennifer Eberlien. “And so is there anything the National Forest Service or BLM [Bureau of Land Management] can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the earth’s orbit around the sun? Obviously they would have profound effects on our climate.” The National Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management do not have any control over the moon’s orbit.

Reply to  garethman
June 9, 2021 2:47 pm

You do realize he was trolling the Bidet Admin stooges, right?

Reply to  Duker
June 9, 2021 10:59 pm

No, you can toss out a whole school of red herrings but my comment just related to what Louie Gohmert said, and anyone with an unbiased reading could see he was trolling them.

Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
June 10, 2021 8:52 pm

I just proved his record of saying the most crazy stuff …. its not trolling to show that he is a fool, trolling is supposed to show intellect and and an ease with advanced concepts

Reply to  garethman
June 9, 2021 3:15 pm

Natural processes including orbital mechanics that are unaccounted and unaccountable with modern climate science.

Reply to  garethman
June 9, 2021 3:18 pm

This was clearly a p1ss-take, but nevertheless right up there with Democrat Congressman Hank Johnson’s question about the island of Guam overturning when global warming reached its much-heralded “tipping point”.

Reply to  Mr.
June 9, 2021 8:38 pm

Really? Louis “Louie” Gohmert Jr. is an American attorney and former judge currently serving as the U.S. Representative from Texas’s 1st congressional district since 2005. He trolled the Bidet morons….Hank Johnson actually BELIEVED that Guam would tip over if more Marines were stationed there….no comparison between a brilliant troll and a DOPE with a room temperature IQ showing his ignorance.

Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
June 9, 2021 9:09 pm

Have you seen Louie’s other face slapping stupid comments. he really really thinks this stuff.

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  garethman
June 9, 2021 4:09 pm

I thought Gohmert was giving a modern-day retelling of King Canute and the tides to point out that no one in the National Forest Service has any control whatsoever over the primary drivers of climate change.

I guess YMMV.

Reply to  garethman
June 9, 2021 6:36 pm

While far fetched, methods have been proposed for ways to increase the size of the earth’s orbit orbit in order to cool it.
I’m sure you have hear of a slingshot orbit, one that is used by NASA to accelerate spacecraft.
Such orbits can also be used in reverse to transfer energy from the small object to a planet.

So the question is not as stupid as you are so desperate to belive.
In any way, this comes nowhere close to a certain Democrat asking if too many soldier can capsize an island.

David Blenkinsop
Reply to  MarkW
June 9, 2021 8:43 pm

It’s amazingly difficult to tell sophisticated sarcasm from simple stupidity, there is just so much of the latter around, especially these days.

As for changing the earth’s orbit, to artificially make any measurable change in the momentum of the earth’s nearly six trillion trillion kilograms would be quite something to see! Maybe start by temporarily storing all the atmosphere and all the water in big jars, then install a really big ion drive, maybe tipping over a few choice islands to do it, such fun..

Reply to  David Blenkinsop
June 10, 2021 9:10 am

It’s amazingly difficult to tell sophisticated sarcasm from simple stupidity

Poe’s Law has been in overdrive for years now. Not sure what’s next, hyperdrive?

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  TonyG
June 10, 2021 11:13 am

Ludicrous speed.

Rud Istvan
June 9, 2021 3:59 pm

Wasn’t gonna comment, but changed mind just before dinner.
This is the sort of conflicted candidate we can expect from Resident Biden, after 47 years of undistinguished DC graft by the Big Guy.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 9, 2021 5:17 pm

Rud, that text to Hunter was actually a typo.
What the sender meant to say was –
“10% for the Gig Buy”

June 9, 2021 5:28 pm

Not to worry. This is where a sleepy, distracted and biased press looks the other way for the Party objectives. The same goes for political data mining at the IRS that has already begun.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
June 9, 2021 5:45 pm

It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
June 9, 2021 6:41 pm

It’s looking more and more like Janet Yellen has no interest in finding out who leaked the IRS data on a large group of rich taxpayers.
Secure systems keep records of who accesses what information. So it shouldn’t be hard to figure out. Assuming anyone wants to look.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
June 9, 2021 6:59 pm

The Biden Crime Family is once again weaponizing the federal government.

I see where Biden is going to tear up the deal Trump did to lower prices on insulin and other drugs. Biden is going to cause those prices to go up again.

Biden seems to be fixated on reversing everything Trump did. TDS. Everything Biden reverses makes things worse.

Reply to  MarkW
June 10, 2021 7:59 pm

Read an article with a curious point, curious as in written like there might be some insider knowledge. Stated that there are tracking procedures in place at the IRS but then went on to point out that there are ways in the system for those with knowledge of internal workings that will bypass tracking. I originally read this as there are security holes in the system that employees know about and IT hasn’t plugged, not uncommon. On later thought there also might be security levels of access that also bypass tracking which wouldn’t be surprising either.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  ResourceGuy
June 9, 2021 6:55 pm

The Leftwing press is not sleepy or distracted. They ignore things harmful to the Democrats deliberately.

June 9, 2021 7:03 pm

Why is it in Latin(?)?

Reply to  GaryD
June 9, 2021 10:04 pm

Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  GaryD
June 10, 2021 11:27 am

It isn’t really in Latin, though it uses a lot of Latin words. Like Lewis Carroll’s “The Jabberwocky”, only more so. It is known as “Lorem Ipsum”, a concatenation of Latin words used by graphic designers doing print layouts. They can alter the font type and size and see the visual impact without being distracted by the meaning of the copy. Here it simply illustrates what redaction looks like, but strictly for the visual at the head of the post. I doubt any readers here don’t know what the term means.

Hans Erren
June 9, 2021 10:50 pm

For the non-native legal american english speakers:

the withdrawal of a judge, prosecutor, or juror from a case on the grounds that they are unqualified to perform legal duties because of a possible conflict of interest or lack of impartiality.

Richard Page
Reply to  Hans Erren
June 10, 2021 8:25 am

I’m in the UK and we have the same word, with the same definition in proper English. Odd, don’tcha think? sarc

June 10, 2021 5:36 pm

ABOLISH the epa and other such bloated and unconstitutional fed agencies. Then there is no need for recusal.

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