Judicial Watch Obtains Records from EPA Showing Obama Agency’s Illegal Use of Social Media Platform for Propaganda
November 27, 2017
‘I don’t want it to look like EPA used our own social media accounts to reach our support goal’ – EPA Director of Web Communications
(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch obtained 900-pages of documents from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which reveal the agency’s use of the mass-sharing Thunderclap social media platform to covertly promote its policies in violation of federal law.
The documents show that EPA staffers, via the Thunderclap platform, recruited outside groups to lobby in support of the Clean Water Rule or “Waters of the United States.” Thunderclap shares member messages across multiple Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr accounts simultaneously.
Federal law prohibits agencies from engaging in propaganda, which is defined as covert activity intended to influence the American public. Federal law also prohibits agencies from using federal resources to conduct grassroots lobbying to prod the American public to call on Congress to act on pending legislation.
The EPA’s Director of Web Communications Jessica Orquina, in a September 10, 2014, email, wrote to Karen Wirth, an EPA team leader in the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, urging the covert use of the Thunderclap technology. “I don’t want it to look like EPA used our own social media accounts to reach our support goal,” Orquina wrote to Wirth.
The Clean Water Rule, now in the process of being repealed by the Trump administration, was a significant and legally controversial increase in federal authority over streams and other small bodies of water.
The records were obtained by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on June 21 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the EPA failed to respond to a May 3 FOIA request (Judicial Watch vs. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (No. 1:17-cv-01218)). Judicial Watch seeks:
All internal emails or other records concerning project administration, management, or assignment of tasks related to the EPA’s use of the Thunderclap social media platform.
On September 9, 2014, Travis Loop, the EPA’s director of communications for water, initiated the lobbying effort in an email to Gary Belan, senior director for the organization American Rivers, under the subject line “RE: IMPORTANT: Join a Thunderclap for Clean Water” that read:
EPA is planning to use a new social media application called Thunderclap to provide a way for people to show their support for clean water and the agency’s proposal to protect it. Here’s how it works: you agree to let Thunderclap post a one-time message on your social networks (Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr) on Monday, September 29 at 2:00 pm EDT. If 500 or more people sign up to participate, the message will be posted on everyone’s walls and feeds at the same time. But if fewer than 500 sign up, nothing happens. So, it is important to both sign up and encourage others to do so.
In a September 10, 2014, email from Loop to Orquina, Loop asks “What’s the best way to get the other agencies to sign up for the Thunderclap and promote on social media? Interior, USGS, NOAA, etc. I was going to tweet at them to join the Thunderclap, but thought maybe you had thoughts on that and maybe a more direct line.” Orquina responds: “Why don’t I send a message to the interagency social media listserv?”
In a September 15, 2014, email, Loop seeks assistance on the Thunderclap effort from the American Public Health Association (APHA). Loop writes to colleagues Brian Bond and Micah Ragland: “Can you reach out to your contact at the American Public Health Association and see if they can use their Twitter to support our Thunderclap for clean water? Basically we would love if they could sign up for their Twitter account to participate and then tweet to their followers an encouragement to participate? If how to do this is unclear I can talk to someone there. They have more than 440,000 followers so this would be a nice bump.”
In a September 25, 2014, email to Jay Jensen of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), Loop noted of the Thunderclap Clean Water effort: “Right now we have 840 people who have signed up and so the message will be seen by 1.7 million people. I’m trying to make this as big as possible, so anyone that can sign up and encourage others to sign up is appreciated. I know you have lots of connections all across the board that could make this even bigger.”
“The Obama EPA knowingly did an end run around federal law to push another Obama environmental power grab,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “These documents show how these Obama-era bureaucrats seem to be more like social activists than public employees. Let’s hope President Trump does some major housecleaning at the EPA.”
Source (all emphasis mine)
“…And I just wanted to say a little bit — I think what we’ve achieved is some remarkable success in the area of regulatory reform, and I can mention some of the information, some of the data we have released. And I also wanted to just talk about how we’re doing this in a responsible way that is consistent with the law and also in a way that is promoting the principles of good government.
…through the end of fiscal year ’17, we are actually at 22 regulations eliminated for each new one, which is 67 deregulatory actions and 3 regulatory actions.
That should result in a savings of $8.1 billion in present-value terms.
…looking ahead for fiscal year ’18, today, we released the agenda, which is an annual document released by OIRA. And in that, you can see we’re on track to continue to be better than three for one. The agenda reflects 448 deregulatory actions and 131 regulatory actions. And agencies project that that’s going to lead to about $10 billion in present-value cost savings. So we’re planning to keep up the deregulatory efforts.”
The facts are that reports and statistics have been skewed for eight years. Those facts and statistics were the basis of a powerful push to move our country from a sovereign nation to a member of a Socialist/Marxist form of proletariat world governance. In the process scientists were forced through various means to comply with the UN Agenda 21 manifesto and support their purpose or lose their standing.
Whether one believes in a global climate change or not–manipulation of statistics is a fact, in this case for political purposes. Threatening those who produce statistical analyses is ridiculous.
However, how we look at the problem is essential to maintaining a healthy environment, just as how we plan for future changes and growth in populations will affect the surrounding environment and habitats. That is a matter of good husbandry not global climate change.
The world is a living thing upon which we have been granted space to abide as humans. We are simply a part of the whole–had it been otherwise we would have long ago been wiped from existence. It goes in cycles no different from a person who rises in the morning and sleeps at night or contracts an illness and finds ways to recover. Those cycles are dependent and yet independent on a number of non-human factors many of which are far too complicated for humans to fully comprehend or change.
What is obvious is that humans throughout history have been a force that interferes with the natural flow or exponentially compounds the results of some earth changes – from building materials and industry consuming wide swathes of habitats to the garbage we continue to emit in such quantities. All affect the surroundings and interrupt.
However, man’s very existence can and has been wiped out by natural means not once but over and over. Our place in earth’s function barely registers after a thousand years or so. Otherwise we would not have found archeological evidence of vast civilizations dating back thousands of years. Nor would we see the changes occurring in areas of devastation which occurred by man’s quest of stupidity and world dominance through bombs of great magnitude.
Man does affect the world in some ways through destruction of natural conduits of outer layer changes and his single-minded pursuit of more and greater. However, those same pursuits if earth so desired could be eliminated in the blink of an eye. Until man realizes and works with nature to save himself and the planet nothing will change . The trick here is that humans throughout history have been and more than likely will forever be doomed to repeating the same mistakes over and over.
If one believes there are no coincidences and that there is a flow and pattern in life, then we would also have to acknowledge that it is no accident that massive human exterminations have never appeared to provide a lot of information except in tiny bits and pieces for future generations to uncover. Perhaps that is so that nature itself has a chance as a living entity to recuperate and recover itself before the next great human onslaught.
Back to the EPA. Obama’s cronies and fellow globalists have used agencies such as the EPA not only to advance good husbandry but as weapons to control and destroy independence and states sovereignty. Wherever they have employed these tactics we have seen reviling of history, of independence, of individual thought and action, and of the breakdown of civic and personal standards and social order.
Their purpose has always been to destroy and rebuild in a manner they believed best whether others agreed or not. Their main objective has always been an elite few who benefit from the labors of the masses. Had they truly stopped at the advancement of responsibility for husbandry, we would have already reaped the benefits of a better, more responsible world. They didn’t.
They chose the mammon of power and wealth over the existence and good health of our planet. While they demanded the world live more “climate oriented”, they also grew fat off the profit of industries they owned or had claims in. They chose to use methods of transportation and unreasonably expensive meetings which completely disregarded the very things they were reviling in the masses like fuel, efficiency, planetary husbandry, and extravagance.
The laws or rather regulations by individual agencies were illegal. They completely eliminated the constitutional process. No matter how worthy their purpose, had these same regulations been sent through regular channels, we would have at least known that a small group of unelected so-called experts were not dictating how the country was run. The rule of law and of order is exactly what has made our country stronger and less prone to internal implosion. As much as we grouse about it, our country’s structure is far better than that in most of the countries of the world.