Media Mentions

EPA lawyer handled Ohio train wreck despite her husband’s law firm representing Norfolk Southern

By Ramsey Touchberry (Washington Times)

A senior Environmental Protection Agency lawyer managed cleanup efforts and congressional oversight of the toxic train derailment last year in East Palestine, Ohio, although her husband’s law firm was defending the company responsible for the wreck.

Documents obtained by The Washington Times reveal that the EPA ethics office allowed Natalia Sorgente, deputy general counsel for environmental programs and oversight, to remain on the case after conflict of interest concerns emerged months into her work.

Her husband’s firm, WilmerHale, represented the Norfolk Southern railroad.

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US Navy’s STEM ‘Equity’ Program Prioritized Candidates, Internships Based On Race, Docs Show

By Micaela Burrow (Daily Caller)

The U.S. Navy approved more than $750,000 for a project that, while purporting to “equitably” increase the number of students interested in serving in the Navy’s STEM fields, prioritized recruiting underrepresented minority students, documents obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation show.

The University of Missouri–Kansas City (UMKC) proposed a way to encourage students to pursue degrees in fields of science, technology, economics and math (STEM) amid pressures for the U.S. military to out-compete adversaries in technological development, according to the since-approved application obtained by the Functional Government Initiative through a records request and provided to the DCNF. Although the project was framed as providing an opportunity for all students to break into the STEM fields based on the students’ qualifications, the Navy granted a budget extension to include 75 scholarships for underrepresented minority students and gave them first selection for the few on-campus paid research internships created through the program.

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Internal Documents Shed Light On Biden Administration’s Plan To Impose DEI On Pentagon-Run Schools

By Micaela Burrow (Daily Caller)

The Department of Defense agency that runs schools for military children approved a contract worth up to nearly $2 million for extensive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programming and consultations, according to a copy of the contract obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller News Foundation from the Functional Government Initiative.

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) chose BCT Partners, a management consulting firm focused on “equity,” to create an “action plan” for the agency’s DEI program in 2021, noting that “DoDEA has never had a systemic contract for this type of work,” the document shows. Among a sweeping list of requirements, the contract includes a comprehensive assessment of DEI policies across DoDEA, ongoing consulting, program development, and professional learning for senior leadership, administrators and even students.

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Idris Elba and Electric Buses: EPA Chief Lived Large While East Palestine Burned

By Andrew Kerr (Washington Free Beacon)

East Palestine was the last thing on Environmental Protection Agency administrator Michael Regan’s mind in the weeks following the Feb. 3, 2023, train derailment that flooded the Ohio town with toxic chemicals.

Ten days after the spill, as residents questioned whether it was safe to even touch their water, Regan finalized plans for an African climate change summit on a video call with British actor Idris Elba, according to calendar records obtained by the Functional Government Initiative and shared with the Washington Free Beacon. Just over an hour later, Regan hopped on the phone with MSNBC contributor April Ryan to discuss the upcoming trip and pat himself on the back for accepting Elba’s “challenge” to be more inclusive of African nations. Ryan discussed the call in an exclusive story for The Grio shortly afterward.

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Here Are Three Unanswered Questions About Biden EPA’s Massive Green ‘Slush Fund’

By Nick Pope (Daily Caller)

As Republican lawmakers prepare to grill a senior Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official about one of President Joe Biden’s massive green grantmaking programs, several questions about the program’s structure and potential beneficiaries remain unanswered.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is sitting on a $27 billion fund known as the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), a program established by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Biden’s landmark climate bill. The House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding an oversight hearing on the program featuring Senior Advisor to the EPA Administrator Zealan Hoover on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., with Republican lawmakers describing the program as possibly spawning “the next big government boondoggle.”

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What Did Climate Czar John Kerry Actually Accomplish During His Stint In Biden Admin?

By Nick Pope (Daily Caller)

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry is resigning soon to help President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign, leaving behind a checkered record as the Biden administration’s climate czar.

Biden appointed Kerry to his post in the State Department in November 2020, giving him a seat on the National Security Council and a key role in advancing the administration’s massive climate agenda, particularly in coordinating with foreign diplomats to secure international cooperation on climate policies. Kerry helped negotiate several high-profile climate agreements, but the ultimate success of those deals lies in the hands of other countries, including China, a reality that has made Kerry the subject of wide criticism.

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Energy Lease Hypocrisy: Biden Uses Taxpayer Protections to Prop Up Wind, Gut Oil

By Pete McGinnis (RealClearEnergy, Op-ed)

What constitutes a “proven technology” with “predictable income” to the Biden administration? Apparently, it isn’t the oil and gas industry that has been powering the world, raising standards of living, and making entire nations wealthy for well over a century. On the other hand, the first-ever North American ocean wind turbine installation – unpopular with people who will have to look at it and part of a flailing, not-ready-for-primetime industry – is a sure thing to the Department of the Interior.

Per a recent report, on June 15, 2021, Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) waived the customary financial assurance for decommissioning on the lease of the Vineyard Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts. Decommissioning fees are typically required for every energy lease Interior grants so that if a project fails and the lessee goes bankrupt, taxpayers aren’t stuck with cleanup costs. Vineyard first asked for a deferment in 2017 and was denied by the Trump administration, but the Biden BOEM informed Vineyard the fee was deferred for 15 years into its 20-year lease. Why?

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Emails Show Biden Admin Coordinating With Enviro Group That’s Suing Them

By Nick Pope (Daily Caller)

The Biden administration communicated about changes to a landmark environmental law with a major eco-group that is suing the federal government over the law in question, emails obtained by the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) and shared exclusively with the Daily Caller News Foundation show.

The emails, exchanged in May 2021, show that Kristen Boyles, a managing attorney for Earthjustice, contacted the Department of Justice (DOJ) to request information about the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) forthcoming rulemakings on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a decades-old environmental law. The communications occurred as Earthjustice was suing the Biden administration in an ongoing NEPA lawsuit and show that President Joe Biden’s CEQ was willing to provide at least some information.

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‘Anti-racist’ DEI firm appears to have falsely listed US government as client

By Gabe Kaminsky (Washington Examiner)

A left-wing diversity, equity, and inclusion consultancy that has drawn the ire of Republican lawmakers seems to have falsely listed the federal government as a “client,” with one government agency flat-out denying ever working with the firm.

Janice Gassam Asare, who wrote a viral October op-ed in Forbes titled “3 Ways To Transform Your Workplace To Be More Equitable” that was slammed as racist by conservatives because it called on employers to “decenter whiteness” in the workplace, is the founder and principal consultant of BWG Business Solutions. That same New York-based DEI firm claimed until Tuesday that two of its clients were the Department of Energy and NASA, though the company has now quietly scrubbed its website after facing questions on these alleged relationships from the Washington Examiner and GOP senators.

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Trading on the family name: Don’t forget about Frank Biden

By Pete McGinnis (Washington Examiner, Op-ed)

What’s in a name? That depends on who you ask – some names are more valuable than others.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer is asking President Biden whether his is worth $200,000 (or was in 2018, before inflation spiked). That was the amount of a check the president’s brother James wrote to Joe ostensibly as a “loan repayment.” Mr. Comer wants to know the details because there’s no record of such a loan elsewhere in the president’s documents.

It seems like a worthy question, given the allegations of Hunter Biden repeatedly using the family name to land lucrative sinecures at Ukrainian and Chinese energy companies – “10% for the Big Guy” and all that. There aren’t too many families with $200,000 checks circulating, let alone life-long public servants in a position to make that kind of loan.

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