Obama’s EPA: Transparency for thee, but not for me?
posted at 6:22 pm on November 19, 2012 by Erika Johnsen
There is little-to-zero doubt in my mind that the Environmental Protection Agency regularly exhibits all of the lovelier aspects of big-government model behavior. Cronyism, corruption, shady and underhanded anti-transparency dealings, fiscal irresponsibility, power-tripping bureaucratic zealotry — dig deeply enough, and I’d bet my last nickel that it’s all there.
For all of President Obama’s grandiose proclamations that his administration would usher in a new era of government transparency and put an end to business-as-usual, the people he hired to get the job of governing done seem notably less keen on that ostensible goal. The EPA in particular has been waging a steady but subtle regulatory war against all things un-green, regardless of the costs, and I don’t think anybody believes they’ll be pulling back at all now that Obama has secured his second term. But, secret e-mail accounts? Avoiding internal watchdogs? Disguising your true motives? Could the EPA really be so shady as all that? …I’m disinclined to afford them the benefit of the doubt. Via the WashTimes:
A House committee has launched an investigation into whether EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson used an email alias to try to hide correspondence from open-government requests and her agency’s own internal watchdog — something that Republican lawmakers said could run afoul of the law.
The science committee has asked Ms. Jackson to turn over all information related to an email account under the name of “Richard Windsor,” which is one of the aliases identified by a researcher looking into the EPA. …
EPA did not respond Friday night to a request for comment. …
“They’ve been moving government over to private email,” Mr. Horner told The Washington Times. “In the book, I reveal private servers the White House had universities and pressure groups set up so they can conduct discussions.”
There are strict open-records laws that prohibit government employees from using private e-mail addresses to try and avoid the public forum in which official government business belongs, and seeing as how Department of Energy officials were up to similar shenanigans in implementing President Obama’s green-energy agenda, these are allegations that are ripe for investigation. The Obama administration’s transparency record has repeatedly failed to live up to the president’s rhetoric, and the EPA’s controversial and far-reaching commitment to remaking the world in their own green image has earned them a higher profile than most other government agencies — I wouldn’t put delusions of executive privilege past them. Best to not leave these things to chance.