EPA’s web of conflicts with climate groups forces ethics waiver for one official

EPA’s web of conflicts with climate groups forces ethics waiver for one official

  • July 7, 2021

Agency concluded politically appointed lawyer could participate in cases involving ex-client despite conflict, because other appointees already recused.

John Solomon, Just the News

The revolving door between climate change special interests and the Biden Environmental Protection Agency has swung open so often in recent months that the agency is being forced to grant an ethics waiver to one of its politically appointed lawyers allowing her to participate in cases involving a former client.

The reason? The other political appointees in the EPA office of general counsel (OGC) already have conflicts of interests that forced recusals, leaving the agency without someone to provide legal advice to the administration, according to new government memos unearthed by the citizen watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust.

The limited conflict of interest waiver allows EPA Deputy General Counsel Marianne Engelman-Lado to participate in decisions involving one of her former environmental group clients, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

“This situation is emblematic of what is happening in so many agencies across the administration,” [PPT Director Michael Chamberlain] told Just the News. “They filled leadership positions with activists from advocacy organizations that challenged virtually every action of the previous administration. The miasma of conflicts this has created in some cases is so thick they have to seek waivers from ethics commitments just to perform basic functions.”

Read more