Congressman Smith Subpoenas EPA, Announces Regulation Roundtable with Texas Ag Commissioner Sid Miller
by Lamar Smith on March 26, 2015 at 9:01 AM
Yesterday, I announced I am subpoenaing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I have led recent efforts to increase transparency and accountability at the EPA, fight costly new EPA ozone regs, and put a check on the agency’s plans for sweeping new water rules. Yesterday, I also announced a public event with special guest Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, “Reining in the EPA: A Regulation Roundtable.” The event will be held at the Cailloux Theater on Wednesday, April 8th, from 7 to 8:30 pm.
I issued yesterday’s subpoena after the agency refused to hand over information related to almost 6,000 deleted text messages linked to the agency’s top official, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. This is not the first time the agency has come under fire for lack of openness: in 2012, former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was caught using a fake email address alias, and Smith has previously subpoenaed the agency for failure to turn over information related to costly ozone regulations. On March 2, 2015, a federal court issued an opinion raising concerns about the agency’s process for responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and calling the EPA’s handling of a 2012 FOIA request “suspicious.” And the Center for Effective Government gave the EPA a grade of “D” in its most recent report for poor performance in giving access to information.
I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure that agencies like the EPA are operating in the most efficient, effective, and accountable manner possible. We all want clean air and clean water. Yet the EPA has avoided transparency at every turn, while attempting to impose costly regulations on Americans. The EPA’s pattern of withholding, concealing and possibly destroying records must come to an end. The American people deserve an open and honest government. That is why I am subpoenaing the EPA, and that is why I am hosting the Regulation Roundtable in Kerrville on April 8th. I invite Texans to join me at this event to share their stories and hear how we are working at the local, state, and federal level to rein in the EPA’s overreach. We need policies that serve the taxpayer, not an extreme political agenda.
“I applaud Chairman Smith for calling this regulation roundtable," said Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. "As Texans, we must stand together to stop EPA from enacting rules to unnecessarily regulate certain waters on our farms and ranches. This overreach will result in a total erosion of state and individual property rights. It will cripple our economy and damage the free enterprise system. Plus, it will burden our farmers, ranchers and private landowners with undue hardship. Texans understand that clean water is important. Farmers and ranchers are the original conservationists and best stewards of the land. That’s how they earn their livelihood, and they know how to protect the land far better than some bureaucrats in Washington. I look forward to hearing from Texans in the Hill Country on how we can build a coalition to protect our freedoms.”