Republicans are accusing the Environmental Protection Agency of letting a green group write its landmark climate rules, and EPA isn't happy about it.
Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming accused EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Wednesday of letting the Natural Resources Defense Council dictate its rules, saying the agency had deferred to the group's "powerful, wealthy, Washington lawyers and lobbyists" while writing the agency's carbon-pollution rules for existing power plants.
"They [the NRDC] have millions, which gives them access. The EPA has turned a deaf ear on those who don't," Barrasso said at an Environment and Public Works Committee hearing.
McCarthy wasn't having it, and when it came time for questions and answers, when Barrasso asked why EPA had let NRDC write the rule, McCarthy curtly replied, "We did not."
Later in the hearing, McCarthy said the allegations were a "discredit" to EPA staff who had worked around the clock to meet with stakeholders from all sides to design the climate rule.
And McCarthy's Senate allies were swift to fire back, with independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont saying it was "remarkable that my Republican colleagues would dare to raise the issue of campaign finance" before ticking down a list of figures on the spending done by the oil and gas industry.