“Released EPA Administrator’s Non-Public Emails Called ‘Deeply Troubling’”
Complying with a court order minutes before Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline, the Environmental Protection Agency yesterday released 2,100 emails received or sent by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on one of her non-public accounts. But which one? The name on the email account was redacted.
The information provided by the EPA under court order doesn’t satisfy the man who discovered that Jackson has been using the alias “Richard Windsor” on an email account from which she may have sent messages on the administration’s coal policy. Using the alias would shield those communications from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
Chris Horner of the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute says he discovered Jackson’s “false identity” while doing research for his book, “The Liberal War on Transparency.”
Late Monday, Horner called the EPA’s document release “deeply troubling.”
“[It] seems to have gravely compounded the unlawful activity we have exposed involving a false identity assumed for federal recordkeeping purposes,” he said.
Jackson admitted to using the fake identity “Richard Windsor” in November. Citing high email traffic in her public account (firstname.lastname@example.org), the EPA said Jackson used the Richard Windsor alias to communicate with other public officials. (Jackson announced her resignation as EPA administrator on Dec. 27, saying she is ready for “new challenges.”)
Horner said he is dissatisfied with the 2,100 emails the EPA finally delivered to him on Monday. First of all, that number is well short of the promised 3,000, he said.
Furthermore, Horner said he doubts that the emails, which contain the keywords “coal, climate, endanger, and MACT” [Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standards], are from the “Richard Windsor” account.
In its response to Horner, the EPA stated that the emails it released in response to Horner’s FOIA request are from “one secondary official account to conduct EPA business.”
Horner also says the emails are a bunch of nothing: “Perhaps seeking to take the air out of a growing scandal, EPA’s defective compilation boasts an impressively anemic content-to-volume ratio. It starts with Washington Post daily news briefs, then follows with Google alerts for “Lisa Jackson EPA” (none for “Richard Windsor”). Then EPA HQ national news clips. And so on. Rope a dope. Clever. Maybe too much so.”
Horner said the EPA apparently decided it “had to produce a lot of something. Desperate to produce nothing at the same time, it came up with this.”
The release Monday marks only the first batch of the 12,000 emails that will be made public as a result of the CEI v. EPA lawsuit. Though dissatisfied with the initial release, Horner showed no sign of lessening his pursuit.
“This is both deeply distressing yet entirely consistent with their approach throughout,” he said. “But then again, frankly, what did you expect from a gang caught using false identity for federal record-keeping purposes? To just say ‘you caught me; now I’ll come clean?’”
You as citizens are held in contempt. The very idea that the government and its administrative arm would have to answer to the likes of you is repugnant to these people — your sovereigns and your betters — and with every calculated attempt to avoid the transparency we demand they are very deliberately blinding us.
By flipping us the bird, then jamming it in our eyes. With relish.