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Speaker John Diehl says totally untrue stuff to federal government, gets called on it by fellow Republican

Speaker John Diehl may be in some hot water with members of his own Republican caucus over some not-entirely-true documents he submitted to the Enviromental Protection Agency about why he opposes their Clean Power Plan standards for reducing carbon pollution.  Unlike Diehl, a "large, bipartisan majority supports a plan to reduce carbon pollution in Missouri by closing or improving the efficiency of coal-fired power plants, making greater use of natural gas power plants, increasing clean energy use, and having utilities help customers improve energy efficiency." In fact, a whopping 77% of likely November 2014 voters supported such a plan in a recent poll.

Here's how Diehl decided to make his opposition known, via The Pitch

On December 1, 2014, Diehl submitted some comments to the federal government about why the EPA’s new rules and regulations are bad for Missouri — a 25-page report, which you can view here
If you click that link, you will note that the statements purport to be the “Comments of the General Assembly of the State of Missouri.” In other words, the entirety of the Missouri House and Senate, Republicans and Democrats alike. 
But neither the House nor the Senate had approved these comments. In fact, they'd never been put before any legislative body to even consider. Diehl's comments were submitted in December, when the Legislature wasn't even in session. 


Most of us would probably have had never known that Diehl mispresented himself to the federal government like this. But in February, Rep. Robert Ross introduced a bill (HR425) to "adopt the House Majority Floor Leader’s filing [Diehl was Majority floor leader before becoming Speaker] with the EPA as the state’s official position," retroactively

Republican Rep. Nick Marshall was not happy about this attempt to retroactively approve Diehl's dishonest submission to the EPA. At all. Here's what he wrote to his House colleagues: 

From: Nick Marshall  
Date: February 26, 2015 at 11:14:47 AM CST
To: _House Members 
Subject: HR425

My coming no vote on HR425 deserves an explanation.
I agree with the premise of the resolution.  The EPA regulations entitled the “Clean Power Plan” is an unconstitutional overreach and a mandate which will have a significant detrimental impact upon Missouri’s economy and ability supply power to its citizens and businesses. 
However, HR425 sets a dangerous precedent and endorses an act by a member of this body that should be condemned, not endorsed.
The resolution ratifies, after the fact, the comments filed with the EPA by last year’s majority leader entitled “Comments of the General Assembly of the State of Missouri.”  These comments were filed in December of last year, when we were not in session.  Neither the House of Representatives nor the Missouri Senate had authorized these comments to be filed.  Members of the Senate confirmed that they learned of these comments only after the fact.
These comments, while representing my position on the EPA regulations, were not the official position of the Missouri General Assembly as claimed in the comments.  The statements in the comments were false and retroactively ratifying them does not change that.
Furthermore, should we pass this resolution, it will still only be the endorsement by the House of Representatives, not the General Assembly.  This is a House Resolution, and the Senate must be part of any statement by the entire Missouri General Assembly.
I know many of you agree that the EPA and its overreaching regulations is hurting the citizens of this state.  However, we must act within the authority bestowed upon us by the People of Missouri.  If comments are filed with the federal government claiming to be the comments of the General Assembly, they should be voted on by the entire General Assembly.
The power we bestow on a majority leader of the Missouri House is not the power to speak officially for the General Assembly.
For that reason, I cannot endorse the actions of then Majority Leader Diehl through approval of HR425.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
Rep. Nick Marshall
Platte County

Diehl was successful in getting HR425 passed through the House, despite objections from Marshall and House Democrats. But questions remain. More from David Hudnall's story in The Pitch: 

John Hickey, director of the Missouri chapter of the Sierra Club, supports the Clean Power Plan and says Diehl's behavior calls into question matters of legal ethics. 
"John Diehl is a lawyer, and misrepresenting yourself is an ethics issue for a lawyer," Hickey tells The Pitch. "This is not a small difference to confuse yourself with both the state House and the Senate combined. He knew he wasn’t speaking for the General Assembly. And the fact that a fellow Republican said, 'Wait a minute, we can’t have this going on here,' — I think that tells you what you need to know about this. It doesn't pass the laugh test; it doesn't cut the smell test. This wasn’t a slip of tongue — he's trying to pressure the EPA to dial back this public health protection. He was overstating who he spoke for to his advantage." 

What's next? Stay tuned.