It’s not just the IRS.
A second federal agency is facing a probe and accusations of political bias over its alleged targeting of conservative groups.
The allegations concern the Environmental Protection Agency, which is being accused of trying to charge conservative groups fees while largely exempting liberal groups. The fees applied to Freedom of Information Act requests — allegedly, the EPA waived them for liberal groups far more often than it did for conservative ones.
The allegations are under investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is also holding hearings on the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups.
“I don’t think it is fair at all. It is not fair to the American taxpayer — the American taxpayer should expect and demand that the EPA treats everyone equally in regard to these requests,” said Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. “This cannot be tolerated. As we see more federal agencies with this kind of bias, it is and should be a concern for all of us.”
Research by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a conservative Washington, D.C., think tank, claims that the political bias is routine when it comes to deciding which groups are charged fees. Christopher Horner, senior fellow at CEI, said liberal groups have their fees for documents waived about 90 percent of the time, in contrast with conservative groups that it claims are denied fee waivers about 90 percent of the time.
“The idea is to throw hurdles in our way,” charged Horner, who says he decided to look into the fee structure after the EPA repeatedly turned down his group for waivers.
“In 20 cases of ours, since the beginning of last year, we were expressly denied, or denied by them simply refusing to respond, in 18 out of 20 cases,” said Horner, explaining that the batting percentage for fees waived in favor of liberal groups is overwhelming.
“Earth Justice was batting 17 out of 19, the Sierra Club was the worst, at 70 percent granted, 11 out of 15. You add up some other groups and we found that 75 out of 82 groups granted, because these are the groups that the EPA has decided are the favored groups.”
The EPA has denied any favoritism.
Acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe told the House Energy and Commerce Committee on May 16 that “our policy is to treat everybody the same,” and the agency is considering pursuing an investigation.
Read more: FOX NEWS