Watchdog Group Suing EPA over Failure to Release Communications with Oil Industry

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a lawsuit against the EPA this week because the EPA failed to produce communication records related to the 2014 renewable fuels mandate. The Hill reports the lawsuit filed Wednesday is over the agency’s response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The groups cited a Reuters report that The Carlyle Group and Delta Airlines lobbied members of Congress and the administration to reduce the amount of ethanol and other biofuels that must be blended for 2014. The EPA denied a request for expedited review and has been slow to release the documents. The group’s executive director Melanie Sloan said “It certainly seems as if the administration has backtracked on its commitment to renewable fuels. The question is why.” She questioned if the Obama Administration had made a back-room type deal orchestrated by ‘big oil.’

According to The Hill, the lawsuit also alleges that the EPA is delaying the release of the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard to “avoid potential political fallout in the midterms for siding with the oil industry over the biofuel industry.” However, recently, White House adviser John Podesta, hinted that the renewable fuel levels for 2014 would rise during a meeting with Senate Democrats.

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