That Time When a Lawmaker Signed Letter to EPA Advocating Complete Opposite of Her View

Air pollution resized

Lawmakers, like the rest of us, make mistakes. Take the case of Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who in July signed onto a letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency against lowering the national ozone standards.

The problem? DeLauro goofed and signed the letter by mistake. In reality, she actually supported the complete opposite position and urged the EPA in a new letter sent the following day to adopt the lowest possible ozone level under consideration by the agency at the time.

“I mistakenly signed Representatives Latta and Green’s letter dated July 28, 2015,” DeLauro wrote in a letter obtained in December by Bloomberg BNA under the Freedom of Information Act. “I urge the EPA to rely on science and finalize a strong ozone standard that will protect future generations of Americans.”

Janet McCabe, the agency’s acting top air official, then thanked DeLauro in September for her “clarifying letter.”

The EPA ultimately chose to split the difference by lowering the standard to 70 parts per billion in October. That call irked the business community, which warned the lower standard would harm economic competiveness and cost billions to implement, but also environmental and health groups, which said the new standard did not go far enough to protect public health and the environment.