GAO: EPA’s social media blitz to promote new water rules broke the law – ‘covert propaganda’

GAO: EPA’s social media blitz to promote new water rules broke the law – ‘covert propaganda’
A seasonal pond in California, now to be wholly owned by the EPA.

[Ed. – The surprise here isn’t that the EPA did this — it’s that the GAO has acknowledged the obvious truth about it.]

The Environmental Protection Agency engaged in “covert propaganda” in violation of federal law when it blitzed social media to urge the general public to support President Obama’s controversial ruleintended to better protect the nation’s streams and surface waters, congressional auditors have concluded.

The ruling by the Government Accountability Office, which opened its investigation after a report in The New York Times on the agency’s practices, served as a cautionary tale to federal agencies about the perils of getting too active in using social media to push a cause. Federal laws prohibit agencies from engaging in lobbying and propaganda.

It also emerged as Republican leaders moved to block the so-called Waters of the United States clean-water rule through an amendment to the enormous spending bill expected to pass in Congress this week.

“GAO’s finding confirms what I have long suspected, that EPA will go to extreme lengths and even violate the law to promote its activist environmental agenda,” Senator Jim Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma and chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee who is pressing to block the rule, said in a statement Monday.

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