Part of the job of the Environmental Protection Agency is clearly to promote their own policies and demonstrate to the American people how they are working to benefit the nation. (That is, when they’re not busy wasting massive amounts of money and polluting river systems.) But there’s a fine line to be walked between educating the public on the issues and blatant politicking to benefit the party currently controlling the White House. One of the agency’s spokespeople, Janet McCabe (Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation) seems to have clearly and flagrantly stepped over that line this weekend. In an op-ed piece run specifically for the Des Moines Register, McCabe takes a deep dive into precisely how wonderful the Renewable Fuel Standard is and how great it is that the federal government is driving ethanol production. (Emphasis from original text)
The truth is that EPA’s standards will continue to drive ambitious, achievable growth in biofuel markets, while recognizing the real world development of current advanced biofuel technologies. With final standards in place for the year ahead, biofuel producers and blenders are in a better position to plan and invest — putting the market on stable ground and supporting further growth and innovation in the renewable fuels industry…
We expect that conventional biofuel will reach a volume of 14.5 billion gallons next year, 97 percent of the way toward the cap set by Congress in the 2007 law. Overall, the total renewable standards will grow by more than 1.8 billion gallons from 2014 to 2016 — or 11 percent more biofuel than the market produced in 2014.
So far that’s at least a mostly factual laundry list of statistics. It’s obviously fine tuned to appeal to the King Corn lobby and their supporters, cheering for any and all increases in mandated purchases of ethanol, but it’s still something of a report on what the agency did and what the projected impact would be.
But after that, things take a turn… (Again, emphasis is from the author, not me)
And Iowa is leading the way. Iowa’s farmers are growing the next-generation of fuels, and its business leaders are developing the emerging technologies that provide thousands of jobs across the Midwest. Simply put, the biofuel industry is a great American success story…
The final 2016 standard for cellulosic biofuel — the fuel with the lowest carbon emissions — is ambitious, calling for nearly 200 million gallons, or seven times more than the market produced in 2014. And that’s a win for Iowa, where two cellulosic plants have celebrated openings since 2014. With these standards, EPA is supporting these investments.
Could this be any more of a political advertisement coming from the executive branch directed straight at the voters of the first primary state? The EPA under the leadership of Barack Obama and the Democrats is your friend. Look at all the jobs we’re keeping afloat and all the corn we’re going to make everyone buy!
And what was acting Administrator McCabe doing writing this political advertisement in the first place? She runs the Office of Air and Radiation. Their mission is pretty clear.
The Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) develops national programs, policies, and regulations for controlling air pollution and radiation exposure.
Now she’s an expert on ethanol and fuel mixing? This entire piece is an example of the President and the DNC using a cabinet level office to play hardball politics in one specific state. That’s another factor to be concerned over, by the way. The EPA and the rest of the federal agencies ostensibly serve the entire nation. Why are they out there pimping jobs just in Iowa and talking about their work being “a win for Iowa” in the final weeks before the caucus?
If this isn’t illegal it’s blatantly unethical. The EPA is incredibly incompetent at the job they’re supposed to be doing. They don’t need to be turning into a de facto Super PAC for the Democrats in their copious spare time.