Apparently, the relationship between Conrad Schneider, the top lobbyist for the activist group Clean Air Task Force and Michael Goo, then EPA’s top policy official, is so tight that that Schneider actually felt comfortable directing Goo to use his public office to help raise money for their advocacy campaigns.
According to an article in the Free Beacon, which broke the story based on FOIA-ed email exchanges between Goo and Schneider that were recently released by E&E Legal, Schneider “suggested that CATF’s financiers call Goo personally so that he could attest to the nonprofit’s behind-the-scenes work with EPA in crafting and marketing the regulation. The idea, Schneider said, was to demonstrate CATF’s effectiveness to its funders.”
And the ask wasn’t even subtle.
The following is from Schneider’s email to Goo, recapping their recent phone call:
“How you can help CATF with funders: 1. We can tell foundation program officers that we are engaged in discussions with highly placed officials in the Obama administration regarding viable pathways forward on 111(d). … 4. I can tell foundation program officers to call you: (a) for your take on prospects for moving a 111(d) rule; and (b) to vouch for CATF’s value-added in advancing 111(d) and other EPA power plant regulations.”
Let that sink in. As the Free Beacon pointed out, “Under federal law, it is illegal for a government employee to use ‘his official title, position or any authority associated with his public office to further [a] fundraising effort’ for a nonprofit group.” Yet, here we have an environmental activist directing a high-ranking EPA official to take calls from their funders to tell them what a great job the activists are doing to advance their agenda.
“Chutzpah” doesn’t begin to cover that level of audacity.