145 House Members Want Answers to EPA Funding Anti-Farmer Propaganda
One hundred forty five members of the House of Representatives from both sides of the aisle sent a stinging letter to Gina McCarthy, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, demanding to know why her agency funded an anti-farmer campaign in Washington state.
The campaign, wholly funded by EPA, used billboards, radio ads and a website depicting dead fish and polluted water, claiming they were the result of pollution from farms. The media campaign, whatsupstream.com, had auto-generated text that could be e-mailed directly to Washington State legislators, calling for 100-foot buffer strips along streams and other measures.
“Despite previous violations of federal laws pertaining to funding propaganda, advocacy and lobbying efforts, it is troubling that the EPA has allowed taxpayer funds to attack farmers,” says Rep. Dan Newhouse (Rep., Wash.).
Last December, the General Accounting Office had issued an opinion that EPA violated propaganda and anti-lobbying laws using social media platforms regarding Waters of the United States (WOTUS). “The whatsupstream.com campaign appears to be part of an alarming trend where EPA engages in funding advocacy efforts against the very entities it is seeking to regulate,” write Newhouse and Rep. Brad Ashford (Dem., Neb.).