EPA draws another ethics complaint, days after green energy investments helped tank two banks
- March 16, 2023
The watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust on Wednesday filed another ethics complaint on the Environmental Protection Agency – this time focused on Principal Deputy Administrator Joseph Goffman and how he potentially violated federal ethics obligations.
“In years past, actions comparable to those of Mr. Goffman could easily have resulted in an abrupt investigation and possible termination,” the group said.
Following President Biden’s inauguration in January 2021, the group alleged Goffman received ethics training and signed an ethics pledge “acknowledging his obligation, among other things, to avoid taking action on particular matters where he had a personal financial interest.”
He did not do so, however, and instead only expressed intent on moving “expeditiously to divest several holdings that create potential conflicts.” Goffman waited months before divesting from said holdings while he took part in business transactions “across large swaths of the economy.” It is still unclear if he ever divested from forty of his interests, according to PPT.
“The sheer number of financial holdings requiring his recusal, when combined with the scope of his work, is fraught with potential conflicts of interest,” the group stated. “His apparent indifference toward resolving these extensive financial conflicts of interest is striking.”
The group also said it has found documents showing that a Harvard associate met with Goffman and signed off on two letters seeking to give millions of dollars of EPA funding to an “anti-noise program.”
“Goffman’s activities continue to raise serious questions about whether he has the integrity to hold public office,” the press release concluded. “Yet, the EPA’s Ethics Office has yet to take decisive action. Accordingly, PPT has been compelled to file a third complaint over the actions of Mr. Goffman.”