The Environmental Protection Agency paid a media group that largely works with Republicans thousands of dollars to compile the agency’s annual “year in review” report, according to public financial documents.
Go Big Media, a right-leaning digital consulting and advertising firm, was paid $6,500 by the EPA in February to create the report, E&E News first reported. One of the company’s previous clients include Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke , when he ran for Congress in Montana.
The company’s founder, Philip Stutts, also regularly appears as a commentator on Fox News, according to Go Big Media’s website.
EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox confirmed the contract, highlighting that it was the cheapest option.
“We had two options: one vendor was $29,140 and the other was $6,500, but ultimately this document was made in-house. This pales in comparison to the previous administration that paid $570,000 to a Democratic campaign manager’s PR firm to run EPA’s What’s Upstream campaign,” Wilcox said in a statement.
The report, released Monday, touted the EPA’s top achievements and highlighted, among other things, a The Hill article entitled: “EPA staffing falls to Regan-era levels.”
Other accomplishments highlighted in the report included the agency’s rescinding of the Waters of the United States rule and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt ‘s directive to remove scientists from sitting on advisory boards who receive agency grant funding.
“Administrator Pruitt’s directive ensures that EPA’s Federal Advisory Committees (FACs) provide a diverse and independent range of perspectives. Members serving on an EPA FAC shall not simultaneously receive grants from the agency,” the report read.
In December, Mother Jones first reported that Pruitt paid a Republican opposition research firm $120,000 to provide media monitoring. Days after the news broke, the EPA rescinded the no-bid contract with Definers Public Affairs.
“How we consume our news has changed, and we hope to find a vendor that can provide us with real-time news clips at a rate that is cheaper than our previous vendor,” Wilcox told The Hill at the time.