Biden’s Nomination of an Environmental Radical Must Be Blocked
Joe Biden’s nomination of Joe Goffman to be Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should raise serious concerns for the U.S. Senate and the American people. Goffman’s track record, particularly his involvement in controversial environmental policies during the Obama administration and his recent role in the Biden administration, suggests a pattern of pushing an aggressive climate agenda that often stretches the limits of legal and ethical boundaries.
Goffman’s nomination has faced delays, and rightfully so, given the numerous issues surrounding his candidacy. One of the most pressing concerns is his approach to environmental regulation, often referred to as “Law Whispering” – bending existing laws to serve new, often expansive, environmental agendas. This approach directly contradicts the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in West Virginia v. EPA, which ruled against the administrative re-interpretation of authorities to impose climate-related agendas not explicitly mandated by Congress.
Moreover, Goffman’s role in advising plaintiff attorneys general in State of New York v. EPA on how to impose stronger ozone standards through litigation is alarming. This strategy of using “sue-and-settle” tactics to enforce policies that could not be achieved through legislative or straightforward regulatory processes indicates a willingness to circumvent the proper democratic and legal channels.
Additionally, Goffman’s failure to disclose his consulting role with New York and other plaintiff attorneys general during his ethics onboarding process at the EPA is a significant red flag. His involvement in discussions that led to a lawsuit filed just before Donald Trump left office, aimed at ensuring a favorable response from a friendly administration, suggests a lack of transparency and potential conflict of interest.
Despite the Supreme Court’s clear message in West Virginia v. EPA, Goffman seems undeterred in his pursuit of an aggressive environmental agenda. This attitude, coupled with his failure to recuse himself from deliberations directly related to his previous consulting work, raises serious ethical concerns.
The Senate has a responsibility to scrutinize Goffman’s record thoroughly. They must ensure that his actions align with legal and ethical standards and that he respects the constitutional limits of administrative power. The Senate must also consider the broader implications of confirming a nominee who appears to prioritize ideological goals over lawful and transparent governance.
The Senate’s decision on Goffman’s nomination will significantly impact the direction of U.S. environmental policy and the integrity of the EPA. It’s crucial that they take a stand for lawful, transparent, and balanced environmental governance by carefully considering the implications of confirming Goffman to this critical position.