"EPA: Numbers Disprove Conservative Claim of Bias"

"The math underlying conservatives’ allegations of ideological bias at the Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t add up, the agency says in a breakdown provided to POLITICO."

"For one thing, EPA says the activist complaining about the agency’s denial of fee waivers for document requests never actually had to pay any money, regardless of whether it officially waived the costs.

And EPA says it granted the vast majority of waiver requests he filed on behalf of one right-wing group — numbers not included in the statistics that Republican lawmakers and conservative news outlets have been trumpeting for weeks.

EPA’s figures seek to rebut Republican allegations that have tried to lump the environmental agency with the Internal Revenue Service as spearheads of a partisan, ideologically driven Obama administration. GOP lawmakers have seized on the issue, sending a slew of letters to EPA demanding an investigation of the charges, including claims that the agency routinely approves almost all fee waivers sought by environmental groups while denying and delaying waivers sought by conservative nonprofit organizations.

The gist of EPA’s response: The conservatives’ numbers tell only part of the story and don’t look at the final outcome on whether groups had to pay fees for their Freedom of Information Act requests."

Erica Martinson reports for Politico June 10, 2013.

Source: Politico, 06/10/2013