by Annalee Grant
SNL Financial

When reviewing broader legal challenges to the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan a federal appeals court will not consider whether the U.S. EPA and several environmental groups engaged in alleged illegal ex parte communications.

Conservative legal advocacy group Energy and Environment Legal Institute had asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for permission to file a separate brief addressing possible inappropriate communication between the EPA and environment groups during the crafting of the Clean Power Plan. E&E acknowledged that it had missed the February deadline to file a brief with the court but said an exception was warranted so one of the “core arguments” against the rule could be made…

A Feb. 22 report from E&E detailed emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request showing discussions between EPA officials and staff at the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council. The report alleges that EPA’s former Associate Administrator for the Office of Policy Michael Goo shared a draft of the rule with the environmental groups using a private Yahoo email address.

“The [Obama] Administration has outsourced the executive powers to groups that have private agendas and invited them to draft rules or the bases of rules which the entire country must live under. This is not permissible under our system,” the report said.

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