October 8, 2020

Whitehouse Statement on DC Circuit Case on Clean Power Plan Replacement

Senator led a brief in the case arguing Trump’s EPA cannot be trusted to make reasoned decisions whenever the fossil fuel industry is involved

Washington, DC – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, released the following statement on the challenge before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to the Trump administration’s Clean Power Plan replacement rule:

“There’s no better example of the Trump EPA’s rampant cronyism, conflicts of interest, and corruption than this do-nothing rule. The Trump administration’s toothless replacement for the Clean Power Plan isn’t based on the law and science. It’s the product of an agency captured by fossil fuel interests and run by fossil fuel lackeys who built their careers shilling for big polluters. Under President Trump’s corrupt leadership, it’s clear the EPA isn’t capable of fair decision-making, especially when the interests of the fossil fuel industry are involved.”

In April, Whitehouse and Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) submitted a friend-of-the-court brief to the D.C. Circuit arguing against the replacement rule. The senators noted for the court the fossil fuel interests that have infiltrated the Trump EPA, as well as those interests’ near-complete control over agency decision-making.

Major fossil fuel companies, industry executives and lobbyists, and powerful trade groups have all been revealed as guiding Trump policymaking, with many sending personnel directly into the Trump EPA. For instance, current EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler came to the EPA after serving as a top lobbyist for the coal industry, and former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt rose to political prominence in Oklahoma by raising money from fossil fuel interests.

Read the senators’ brief here.

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