Bill Seeks to Block EPA From Using Taxpayer Money for Advertising

One Congressman wants to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from using taxpayer money on agency public relations campaigns which he says are “used to advertise poorly crafted rules and regulations to the American public.”

One Congressman doesn’t want the Environmental Protection Agency to spend public funds on advertising.

Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) recently introduced the End EPA Advertising Act (H.R. 4271), a bill that would stop the agency from using taxpayer money to hire public relations contractors.

“It’s unbelievable the EPA would think it is appropriate to use taxpayer dollars to hire public relations teams to sell their economically disastrous proposals,” said Congressman Smith. “Millions of dollars spent on the best public affairs firms can’t fool the American people into believing that the EPA should be regulating their farm, small business, wood stoves, ponds, or backyard barbeques.

Between 2000 and 2014, the EPA spent $26 million on outside public relations contracts. These are contractors hired with taxpayer dollars used to create media campaigns aimed at selling the latest EPA rule or regulation to the American public.

According to Smith, the rules and regulations often have an adverse impact on economic growth and job creation. He cited a 2012 study which said that regulations from the EPA cost the American economy roughly $350 billion a year, or half of the total economic cost of complying with all federal regulations.

Smith added, “Public relations contractors do not provide any essential function for the EPA. They are used to advertise poorly crafted rules and regulations to the American people.”

Smith’s legislation is being introduced after recent news reports said the the EPA broke the law through its use of “covert propaganda”  in support of a controversial regulation that gives the agency power over smaller streams of water.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.