GOP Wrongly Claims Greens' Support For EPA Delay Bill

From the it-speaks-for-itself file, we here in the Democratic Whip Press Shop wanted to pass along this article from the Hill on the GOP circulating a false list of supporters for their misguided TRAIN bill that would undermine our clean air protections.

Key Point: “The list includes a number of groups that have strongly opposed the bill, including the Texas chapter of Public Citizen, Clean Air Watch, the Clean Air Task Force and Clean Water Action.

“’Depending on how charitably you’re feeling about the people who put the list together, it’s either a lie or a mistake,’ Clean Water Action spokesman Jonathan Scott told The Hill.”

The Hill: GOP wrongly claims greens' support for EPA delay bill

By Andrew Restuccia and Ben Geman - 09/22/11 07:45 PM ET

The House Energy and Commerce Committee's GOP leadership inaccurately claimed Thursday that a number of green groups support legislation to delay – perhaps indefinitely – a pair of Environmental Protection Agency power plant pollution regulations.

On Thursday evening Republican committee staff circulated a list of more than 100 groups that “have sent letters to Congress supporting passage” of the legislation, known as the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act.

The list includes a number of groups that have strongly opposed the bill, including the Texas chapter of Public Citizen, Clean Air Watch, the Clean Air Task Force and Clean Water Action.

“Depending on how charitably you’re feeling about the people who put the list together, it’s either a lie or a mistake,” Clean Water Action spokesman Jonathan Scott told The Hill.

Committee Republicans sent a news release acknowledging the error.
"An earlier list included some groups that had not sent in letters of support," it read. "We regret this error and welcome additional support of H.R. 2401."

Clean Air Watch President Frank O’Donnell was shocked when told by The Hill Thursday that his organization was on the list.

“Clean Air Watch unequivocally does not support that legislation. Any inference to the contrary is an obvious error,” Clean Air Watch President Frank O’Donnell said. “Is Lady Gaga on there too?”

O’Donnell’s group is one of the most outspoken critics of Republicans’ push to delay and block various EPA regulations.

“It’s the dirtiest of dirty air acts,” O’Donnell said, referring to the TRAIN Act.

Tom Smith, director of Public Citizen’s Texas office, was equally perplexed.

“I don’t think we support the TRAIN Act. In fact we oppose it,” he said when reached by phone Thursday night.

Stuart Ross, the communications director of the Clean Air Task Force, said his group does not support the bill. Ross said he would seek a retraction and an apology from Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton’s (R-Mich.) office.
“There is no way we would sign a letter in support of the TRAIN Act,” he told The Hill. “The TRAIN Act is one of the most aggressive and toxic bills ever introduced on the floor of the House from an environmental and public health standpoint.”

The list correctly includes a large number of groups that support the TRAIN Act, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute.
The TRAIN Act, which is currently being debated on the House floor, would mandate new interagency economic studies of EPA rules and delay a pair of major power plant pollution rules.

The bill would delay a recently finalized rule to cut interstate power plant emissions that worsen ozone and particulate pollution, and an upcoming rule to cut mercury and other air toxics from power plants.

A key Republican is floating an amendment that would mandate longer minimum delays to the power plant rules than the underlying bill requires. It would also make other changes that the bill's Democratic critics say would badly weaken EPA's ability to cut air toxics.

Republicans and some moderate Democrats say EPA regulations will impose massive burdens on the economy and cost thousands of jobs.

A final vote on the bill is expected as soon as Friday. It is expected to easily pass the House, but it is unlikely to pass the Senate.

This post was updated at 8:10 p.m.