Ruling: EPA Violated Federal Law with Social Media Propaganda Campaign

The activities of the EPA have been deemed to have broken the law, according to a report this week released by the General Accounting Office.

The GAO called the EPA’s actions and  efforts an example of “covert propaganda.”

New York Times:

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency engaged in “covert propaganda” and violated federal law when it blitzed social media to urge the public to back an Obama administration rule intended to better protect the nation’s streams and surface waters, congressional auditors have concluded.

The ruling by the Government Accountability Office, which opened its investigation after a report on the agency’s practices in The New York Times, drew a bright line for federal agencies experimenting with social media about the perils of going too far to push a cause. Federal laws prohibit agencies from engaging in lobbying and propaganda.


The E.P.A. rolled out a social media campaign on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and even on more innovative tools such as Thunderclap, to counter opposition to its water rule, which effectively restricts how land near certain surface waters can be used. The agency said the rule would prevent pollution in drinking water sources. Farmers, business groups and Republicans have called the rule a flagrant case of government overreach.

This is a big deal. The EPA has been running amok for a LONG time now, but has reached new heights of lawlessness under the current administration.

Quickly, I want to make a point about that last paragraph I excerpted above – the one outlining the use of social media. The media blitzes did more than violate the law, they likely cost taxpayers millions.

I wasn’t able to locate the actual cost of the social media blitz on Clean Water, but the GAO’s letter has only one dollar number in it that I could find – $64,610 on a video. There is likely more spending involved with Thunderclap and the use of Facebook targeted engagements.

Go hit page fifteen of a report at titled, The Department of Self Promotion. On that page, you’ll find a case study on the EPA talking about the use of public relations and law violating manipulation of social media that the GAO has just ruled on in their report.

Now check out’s report that looks specifically at the EPA. On page four, there is a gag inducing laundry list of the EPA’s spending and activities.

Below are the first five on that laundry list, including over $31 million to push ‘environmental justice’ on college campuses. Maybe the EPA will call for a ‘safe space’ for the environment next.

  •  Since FY2000 – FY2014, EPA discloses $20.377 billion on contractual spending and $72.244 billion via grants-making.
  • EPA employee counts increased by 1,775 employees under President Ronald Reagan and under President Barack Obama headcount has decreased by nearly 2,000 employees.
  • Grants under President Obama are up 36 percent in first six years ($32.5 billion) vs. first six years under President George W. Bush ($24.1B) and contracts are up 35.2 percent $9.6 billion (Obama) vs. $7.1 billion (Bush).
  • $50 million in EPA grants to 61 International entities, including $1.229 million to China
  • $31.066 million in “Environmental Justice” grants – mostly on college campuses 


There’s more on page 29 about the ‘environmental justice’ grants.

It gets worse and the EPA’s spending on “Contracts” alone is enough to make a grown man cry for his mommy – over $20 billion since 2000.  They spent over $92 million in office furniture since the year 200o too.

Skip to page thirteen of the EPA specific report, where the spending on military style gear and weaponry to outfit “special agents” of the EPA is detailed:

“$1.4 million was spent on “guns up to 30MM,” $9,907 on “guns over 300MM,” $682,712 spent on “communications security equipment and components,” $234,753 on “armor personnel,” $330,000 on “ammunition through 30MM,” $213,000 on “tactical sets, kits, and outfits,” $24,700 “ammunition 75MM through 125MM,” $23,000 on “ammunition over 125MM,” $210,000 on “camouflage and other deceptive equipment,” nearly $1 million on “security vehicle services,” $143,780 on “guns over 30MM up to 75MM,” $85,490 on “night vision and equipment,” $146,000 on “optical sighting and range equipment,” $122,400 on “radar equipment, airborne/non-airborne,” $85,600 on “transport vehicles passenger and troop,” $113,000 on “operation of government troop housing,” $57,762 on “miscellaneous weapons,” $7,579 on “unmanned aircraft,” $43,733 on “body armor (43 sets),” $31,500 on “CID agent jackets,” $31,300 on “armament training devices,” $41,700 spent on “special ammunition and ordinance,” $12,495 on lease/rent of troop housing,” thousands spent on Sikorsky aircraft, 9MM ammunition, and shotgun ammunition, Bushmaster rifles, mobile GPS units, puncture-protective gloves, amphibious assault ships, and much, much more…”

While Obama moves to act without Congress on “gun control, the Environmental Protection Agency is clearly fully militarized.

You will be made to care.


About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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