EPA releases first tranche of Lisa Jackson’s alias e-mail correspondence

posted at 9:31 pm on January 15, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

Last we heard of Lisa P. Jackson, she was exiting the administration for new challenges and time with family or something. Her resignation came just weeks before a court-imposed deadline for the EPA to release some 12,000 e-mails associated with her alias e-mail account under the name “Richard Windsor.” Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Chris Horner stumbled on the Windsor account while perusing documents he’d FOIAed while doing research for his book, ” The Liberal War on Transparency.”

Horner and CEI sued EPA for access to Windsor/Jackson’s e-mails, which were otherwise quite easily shielded from FOIA requests for Lisa P. Jackson’s e-mails. The first batch of 3,000 e-mails were to be released this week. EPA released 2,100. The e-mail address from which they came is redacted, but EPA told CNS News they are from the Windsor account. Horner is not satisfied:

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.”

There are many more e-mails to come. The EPA is supposed to release 3,000 a month for four months, so it’d make sense if they released the most benign ones the closest to Jackson’s exit. The less that comes out before a new EPA head’s confirmation hearing, the less senators can grill her about. One wonders if Christine Gregoire would go by Graham Wellington, or something equally WASPy?

And, no, it is not your imagination that using alternative e-mail addresses to conduct public business seems like a much bigger deal when it’s Republicans doing it.


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