Among those responsible for the government's war on coal and reasonable electricity prices was a now-retired U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official named John C. Beale. At one time, he was the agency's highest-paid employee.
Beale is set to serve a 32-month prison sentence for defrauding taxpayers out of nearly $900,000. That represents the amount the EPA paid him for 2 1/2 years he took off from work during his 20-year career - by claiming he was on assignments for the CIA.
He was not, but for two decades under both Democrat and Republican administrations, Beale got away with the scheme.
Current EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy knew of his claim to be working for the CIA for at least two years, but didn't ask questions.
Beale's scam raises questions about the honesty of his work in guiding federal climate change policy. Did he lie about that, too?
Beale's crime received little attention as journalists focused on battles between Democrats and Republicans. But Beale is an example of a nonpartisan problem - an arrogant, insufficiently policed bureaucracy.