Government agency representatives meeting with advocacy groups of all political sides is a normal practice within the US federal regulatory system. Ex parte communications for information exchange are certainly allowed under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and can be productive for both parties if done in the right manner. Concern about “transparency” is a red herring because any and all conversations of such meetings must be documented and placed in the corresponding regulatory docket.
It is disingenuous if an advocacy group from one political side, when invited refuses to meet with EPA officials, and then later complains that groups opposing their position are meeting with the EPA officials.
These same environmental advocacy groups used similar tactics in the 1980s and 1990s where these groups filed lawsuits to drive much of EPA regulatory activity through court orders.
“An environmental group declined an offer to meet with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt in 2017 over concerns the meeting would not be “transparent,” E&E News reports.” click here