Energy czar Carol Browner needs to go the way of disgraced green-jobs czar Van Jones: under the bus and stripped of her unbridled power to destroy jobs and lives in the name of saving the planet. ASAP.
One of the Beltway’s most influential, entrenched, and unaccountable left-wing radicals, Browner has now been called out twice by President Obama’s own federal BP-oil-spill commission and Interior Department inspector general. How many strikes should a woman who circumvented the Senate confirmation process and boasts a sordid history of abusing public office get?
Pushing the question — and shining a bright, hot spotlight on Browner’s behind-the-scenes maneuvering — should be a top priority of the new House GOP majority. Not least of all because Washington insiders are still buzzing about possible White House plans to increase her policy role and elevate her status with Team Obama.
First, the BP-oil-spill panel dinged her for disseminating misleading information to the public about the scope of the disaster. In the aftermath of the spill, she falsely claimed that 75 percent of the spill was “now completely gone from the system” and falsely claimed that the administration’s August report on the disaster was “peer-reviewed.” The false claim “contributed to public perception” of Browner’s calculation as “more exact and complete” than it was ever designed to be, the oil-spill commission concluded in October.
This week, the Interior Department inspector general singled out Browner’s office for butchering peer-reviewed scientists’ conclusions in a key report about the administration’s preordained deepwater-drilling moratorium. The scientists first blew the whistle on the administration’s monkey business this summer. A federal judge sided with the misrepresented scientists and blasted the Interior Department’s big green lie that its moratorium was “peer-reviewed” and endorsed by “seven experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering.”
As the court concluded: “Although the experts agreed with the safety recommendations contained in the body of the main Report, five of the National Academy experts and three of the other experts have publicly stated that they ‘do not agree with the six month blanket moratorium’ on floating drilling.”
It was Browner’s office behind the whitewash. After cutting, pasting, and tweaking the drilling moratorium report, one of Browner’s staff members sent a 2 a.m. e-mail back to the Interior Department on May 27 with edited versions that implied that the outside scientists endorsed the moratorium. The Interior Department inspector general tip-toed around Browner’s responsibility for fudging the truth, using passive language to describe how the edited versions “caused the distinction” between what the administration wanted and what the scientists believed “to become effectively lost.”
Nonsense. The distinction didn’t “become” lost. Browner’s office obliterated it. Browner’s wordsmiths played Mad Libs with the report until it fit their agenda. There was “no intent to mislead the public,” Browner’s office claims. But this eco-data doctoring fits a long pattern of politicized science over which Browner has presided.
While head of the Clinton administration’s EPA, she ordered a staffer to purge and delete her computer files to evade a public-disclosure lawsuit. Lambasted by the judge for “contumacious” behavior and contempt of court, Browner claimed it was all an innocent mistake — and blamed her young son for downloading games on her work computer that she was trying to erase.
During her tenure as EPA chief, she was also caught by a congressional subcommittee using taxpayer funds to create and send out illegal lobbying material to more than 100 grassroots environmental-lobbying organizations. Browner exploited her office to orchestrate a political campaign by left-wing groups, who turned around and attacked Republican lawmakers for supporting regulatory reform.
According to the left-leaning Atlantic, Obama has increasingly relied on Browner’s counsel on issues beyond her environmental portfolio. Which means he’s listening to her advice and strategizing on how to apply her truth-fudging, transparency-evading tactics to the rest of the economy and domestic policy.
Browner, a darling of left-wing billionaire George Soros’s environmental-justice circles and the wife of a top energy lobbyist, is a dangerous woman whose ideological zeal has helped power the Democrats’ war on prosperity. Sunlight, as always, is the best disinfectant — and a much-needed monkey wrench in the Obama job-killing machine.