Psst: There are four separate scandals going on at EPA right now

posted at 9:21 pm on June 10, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

Oh, that we were not flooded with scandals already, this might actually rate some coverage. But alas, as it is, even a news junkie like myself didn’t know there were four separate EPA scandals going on until Gabriel Malor laid it out for me. You should follow him because he’s smart.

Four simultaneous scandals is the most of any agency we’re talking about right now. It’s gonna take a lot more attention before the EPA is forced to clean house. More than a couple congressional letters, I would think, which is why I’m writing about it now. I don’t know if it’s because EPA is relatively more popular than some of the other agencies embroiled in scandal now, or if these scandals simply affect fewer people directly, but this is probably the best chance we’ve had in a while to curtail EPA’s prosperity-destroying activities.

Make sure you go over and read the whole thing, but here’s the run-down.

1) The EPA gave an ethics award to fake employee, “Richard Windsor,” who was already just an unethically created e-mail alias for the agency’s former head, Lisa P. Jackson.

HotAir’s covered this story several times, but it really escalated to a point I don’t think I would have even concocted for a fictional account of government stupidity for fear it might feel like a reach. But government stupidity, undaunted by such a challenge and unbound by the limits of my imagination indeed awarded the “scholar of ethical behavior” award, among other professional recognitions, to a dude who does not exist and was created merely to unethically circumvent FOIA requests.

As the result of the persistence of the Competitive Enterprise Institute in pursuing their Freedom of Information Act requests, we found out late last year that Jackson had been using an epa.gov email account under the name of “Richard Windsor,” and that in practice it looked an awful lot like a deliberate attempt by Jackson to fly beneath the transparency radar when communicating about costly and publicly controversial EPA ideas and initiatives. Even better, it now looks like the EPA awarded the non-existent Richard Windsor with several of the oh-so-august bureaucracy’s required workplace certifications

.
As Erika wrote, this is real life.

2) The EPA makes conservatives pay a fortune for FOIAs to be granted while waiving fees for liberal groups.

According to research from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, whose fellow Chris Horner uncovered “Richard Windsor:”

Specifically, CEI asserts that the EPA is waiving FOIA fees for what it describes as left-wing groups – like the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and EarthJustice – while it “systematically denies waivers for groups on the right,” according to CEI Senior Fellow Christopher Horner.

Horner said his research shows that from January 2012 to Spring 2013 the fees for “green” groups were waived in 75 out of 82 cases. Meanwhile, the EPA effectively or expressly denied his request for fee waivers in 14 of 15 FOIA instances over this same time period. Horner’s appeals of the EPA decisions to deny his fee waivers were rejected.

Further review, Horner said, established that “green” groups proved successful in getting their fees waived 92 percent of the time.

As Gabe notes, the EPA is kindly “considering” an investigation into this matter. Most transparent administration evah. More pressure, please, Congress!

3) EPA contractors are basically Gym, Tan, Laundrying in new, swanky rec rooms thanks to your tax money.

Aww, yeah:

In a huge Environmental Protection Agency warehouse in Landover, enterprising workers made sure that they had all the comforts of home. They created personal rec rooms with televisions, radios, chairs and couches. On the walls were photos, calendars and pinups. For entertainment, they had books, magazines and videos. If they got hungry, they could grab something from a refrigerator and pop it into a microwave.

The crown jewel of their hideaway — which stored EPA office furnishings — was a 30-by-45-foot athletic center, cobbled together from “surplus” EPA gym equipment and decked out with a music system provided via “other agency inventory items,” according to a recently released inspector general’s report.

All of it was carefully hidden from security cameras by partitions and piles of boxes set up by the workers, employees of Apex Logistics, the contractor that ran the warehouse until the EPA severed ties after learning of the situation last month.

4) The EPA leaked confidential information on farmers and cattle facilities to environmental groups. No bigs.

For your NOM-IRS analogy, this one’s perfect:

According to a letter from a group of Senators to Acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe, the EPA “released farm information for 80,000 livestock facilities in 30 states as the result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from national environmental organizations. It is our understanding that the initial release of data contained personal information that was not required by the FOIA request for ten states including Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio and Utah. This release included names and personal addresses.”

The Senators sent the letter Friday to express concern over the sensitivity of the data that was released to groups like Earth Justice, Pew Charitable Trust and Natural Resources Defense Council and to ask how the EPA plans to protect the data of farms and ranches that are also homes to families.

I’m in ur database, leakin to your political enemies.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Obama is JUST now reading about this!

ThePrez on June 10, 2013 at 9:23 PM

I can’t take it anymore.

John the Libertarian on June 10, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Obama and his Lucky Charms

Electrongod on June 10, 2013 at 9:24 PM

Someone should try to hire Richard Windsor and claim that Lisa Jackson is a made-up persona… and then ask the EPA for the personnel records on this stellar Richard Windsor.

ajacksonian on June 10, 2013 at 9:26 PM

There is another. Far more complex. The EPA arranged for law suits by selected environmental groups such as The Sierra Club over areas where it felt the law or the local authorities would stop implementation of a scheme. It then failed to properly defend the suits or settled in a manner that exceeded the law but reduced the same to a court order. It then settled again for huge attorney fees to be paid to the ‘prevailing party’, ie the environmental groups.

pat on June 10, 2013 at 9:28 PM

MOST corrupt administration, evah!

GarandFan on June 10, 2013 at 9:29 PM

I wish I was a minority. What white person would stop me from doing anything I wanted??? Not a damn one apparently.

GhoulAid on June 10, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Those aren’t scandals. They’re policy advancements.

Curtiss on June 10, 2013 at 9:32 PM

…jeepers creepers!…this is just getting phucking-out-of-hand!…when will we hear about the other departments?

KOOLAID2 on June 10, 2013 at 9:32 PM

…grow the government…by all means!…grow the government!…what could go wrong!…TRUST THEM ALL!

KOOLAID2 on June 10, 2013 at 9:34 PM

Time to shut this whole place down. EPA-IRS all of these beaurocratic monsters need to go. There’s no justification for for what goes on in DC. I’m sick of this BS. We pay these people to ruin our lives and they can’t even do that without creating scandals.

jaywemm on June 10, 2013 at 9:36 PM

…grow the government…by all means!…grow the government!…what could go wrong!…TRUST THEM ALL!

KOOLAID2 on June 10, 2013 at 9:34 PM

Bluegill smiles…

Electrongod on June 10, 2013 at 9:37 PM

Shut EPA, IRS, commerce, health, DHS, ATF, treasury ( it’s been usurped by fed reserve),
Cut senators to 1 per state and house to .l.

I’m tired.
I quit.

losarkos on June 10, 2013 at 9:38 PM

What difference does it make?

The Notorious G.O.P on June 10, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Let’s just keep getting in his face because he hates opposition.

tim c on June 10, 2013 at 9:40 PM

You can’t blame Obama…
He is just using the tools handed to him…
Even though he said he was going to abolish these tools..
But…that’s water under the bridge…

*Troll approved*

Electrongod on June 10, 2013 at 9:40 PM

Only 4?

Hog Wild on June 10, 2013 at 9:41 PM

like Bernie Goldberg said tonight, if the press was reporting fairly obama’s approval would be 20 point less

r keller on June 10, 2013 at 9:42 PM

If it doesn’t affect the pocket book of citizens, forget it. Heck, even if it does, forget it. The Government is now people’s daddy and these are just small sins they are willing to forget.

LaughterJones on June 10, 2013 at 9:43 PM

Bluegill smiles…

Electrongod on June 10, 2013 at 9:37 PM

…dude!…I’ve been reading her few comments on some of the other threads lately…and I thought she was just a whack when it came to Palin…since that’s all she ever whacked about!….SHE IS JUST a FULL BLOWN WHACKO!…on everything!

KOOLAID2 on June 10, 2013 at 9:43 PM

Reminds me of the episode from MASH about Captain Tuttle..

You can’t make this stuff up

HarryStar on June 10, 2013 at 9:45 PM

SHE IS JUST a FULL BLOWN WHACKO!…on everything!

KOOLAID2 on June 10, 2013 at 9:43 PM

Something snapped in her..
Palin huh??

That would do it..

Electrongod on June 10, 2013 at 9:46 PM

That rat-eared (I)won-der in the white House is moving us quickly to socialism-or is it islam? With him, it’s hard to tell.

(Mary, I wanted to listen to what you had to say tonight on O’Reilly, but I simply can’t stand the rude man and the way he continually interrupts his guests.)

davidk on June 10, 2013 at 9:49 PM

In today’s America, we are all guilty until proven innocent.

John the Libertarian on June 10, 2013 at 9:49 PM

So what, we need to trust government at all times because…well because without overarching government we would all DIE.

Bishop on June 10, 2013 at 9:51 PM

Let’s just keep getting in his face because he hates opposition.

tim c on June 10, 2013 at 9:40 PM

See you at the Camp.

davidk on June 10, 2013 at 9:52 PM

In today’s America, we are all guilty until proven innocent.

John the Libertarian on June 10, 2013 at 9:49 PM

And just think…
a small majority of Americans approve of being seen as guilty..
And as BluGill is famous for saying…
“I trust my government when they think I am guilty…”
or something like that..

And someone else on that thread said..

“It is the job of government to protect the guilty…”
or something like that…

Electrongod on June 10, 2013 at 9:55 PM

I can’t take it anymore.

John the Libertarian on June 10, 2013 at 9:23 PM

You have to. Not a chance in heII they change their ways at this point. Will only become more scandal laded.

Bmore on June 10, 2013 at 9:56 PM

TAke over Congress next year then defund the epa.

rodguy911 on June 10, 2013 at 10:04 PM

5) The EPA won’t allow the most effective treatment against bedbugs, even though the governor of Ohio at the time, Ted Strickland (D) pleaded with the EPA in a formal letter for Ohio to use it. At the time Cincinnati was #1 on the list of worse cities in the country for bedbugs. Caused widespread suffering and at least one home to burn down when superheating the air to kill the bedbugs backfired. Today here is the modified list, with Cincinnati moved from #1 to #5. The EPA STILL won’t allow us to use the pesticide that kills bedbugs, that had all but eradicated it even 10 years ago.

#1 Chicago (+1)
#2 Detroit (+1)
#3 Los Angeles (+2)
#4 Denver
#5 Cincinnati (-4)
#6 Columbus, Ohio
#7 Washington, D.C. (+1)
#8 Cleveland/Akron/Canton (+5)
#9 Dallas/Ft. Worth (-2)
#10 New York (-1)
#11 Dayton, Ohio (+4)

Four of the top 11 are Ohio cities. But the pesticide MAY harm children. Well, then don’t spray the children … spray the bedbugs! Protecting us from ourselves. The arrogance of the federal government. Ship the bedbugs to Washington DC, better, directly to the White House. Then when Sasha and Malia get bedbugs, Obama can go to the lectern, shed a tear, and say we must solve this problem now, because Sasha and Malia are suffering.

Paul-Cincy on June 10, 2013 at 10:04 PM

I can’t take it anymore.

John the Libertarian on June 10, 2013 at 9:23 PM

That’s what the Lefties are depending on: their opposition giving up. That’s the only way they can win because their policies defy history, common sense, and basic economic principles. Stay engaged.

Oh, and following Malor on Twitter is a no-brainer.

visions on June 10, 2013 at 10:06 PM

The rule of law is nearly over in this country.

docflash on June 10, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Time to sit on everything in the House. Spend the next 18 months pursuing investigations. Provide timelines and extensive proof online at .gov sites.

BuckeyeSam on June 10, 2013 at 10:11 PM

They’re all throw-aways. STAY ON BENGHAZI.

bofh on June 10, 2013 at 10:14 PM

I’m tired.
I quit.

losarkos on June 10, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Ok, it’s (still, anyway) a free country, so I respect your choice.

But don’t you think that is exactly what “they” are counting on? People just getting fed up and tuning out? Sure makes their job easier, huh?

(Unless, of course, you mean you just quit for tonight. In which case, get some rest and carry on.)

climbnjump on June 10, 2013 at 10:15 PM

TAke over Congress next year then defund the epa.

rodguy911 on June 10, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Ummm… we already have a majority in the House. But the “leadership” there (looking at you, Boehnor, Cantor) isn’t about to make any waves.

bofh on June 10, 2013 at 10:17 PM

What’s the point of preserving the 2nd Amendment when tyranny is already upon us and we’re just sitting here doing nothing?

Time to take a page out of the 60′s radicals’ playbook and do some “sit ins” at the DC headquarters of the EPA, the IRS, and many others, just like the Lefties did at the Wisconsin State House when Scott Walker stood up to the public unions.

ardenenoch on June 10, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Whats the difference………..hilary clinton/ Benghazi
the new jackass battle cry

crosshugger on June 10, 2013 at 10:24 PM

The rule of law is nearly over in this country.

docflash on June 10, 2013 at 10:09 PM

I bet you are a glass half full kind of person.

chemman on June 10, 2013 at 10:31 PM

Paul-Cincy on June 10, 2013 at 10:04 PM

The govt also banned my fragrance free hand soap in a pump jar. They’re worried that it may not be fragrance free!

So now I have to keep messy bar soap in the house.

Don’t get me started on the dishwasher.

They are insane with power and money, thanks to O.

PattyJ on June 10, 2013 at 10:32 PM

They’re all throw-aways. STAY ON BENGHAZI.

bofh on June 10, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Yes Alex I’ll take POTUS faux pas for $1000. The correct jeopardy answer would be “Who spent the evening entertaining a B list star and was so drunk he couldn’t answer the call?”

oldroy on June 10, 2013 at 11:13 PM

This current situation shows that the use of special prosecutors is dead for at least 20 years.
There are presently over a half dozen reasons to have a special prosecutor and there are none.
Exactly when in the future will it ever become even more “dire” than now ? It won’t.
The next Democrat to call for a special prosecutor will be laughed out of the Congress.

J_Crater on June 11, 2013 at 1:23 AM

Perfect time for any state involved in the proposed Keystone pipeline to go ahead and start construction. Tell the EPA to pound sand. What’s that, EPA? You’ll see us in court? We look forward to the discovery phase.

CurtZHP on June 11, 2013 at 6:13 AM

The real scandal at EPA is that the CO2 Endangerment Finding is complete and utter crap, completely unsupported by any scientific data or evidence. The EPA has the authority, under this finding, to regulate millions of businesses, large and small, to limit their CO2 emissions.

Another real scandal at EPA is that they give grants to various greenie groups, who then use the money to develop lawsuits to force the EPA to adopt more stringent regulations. The EPA then negotiates with it’s own grantees to finalize the regs, and the EPA and grantees go hand-in-hand to a court, which then “forces” the EPA to adopt the regulation.

Haiku Guy on June 11, 2013 at 6:22 AM

I wonder if the lib groups who received illegally released information have legal liability for possessing it. If the information is “real property” and they knew the information could not be legally in their hands, then they would have liability akin to a fence of stolen goods. A nice class action lawsuit against the NRDC might flesh this out.

Nothing like a mass tort to make your point, i’ve heard from our friends on the left, when the government won’t act.

MTF on June 11, 2013 at 6:50 AM

The entire EPA is a scandal and a fraud.

The States were effectively saving the environment at a local level long before the EPA came on the scene and for every Leftist who points to the Burning River, point out that it was the State EPA of OH that got that fixed long before the federal EPA came along.

ajacksonian on June 11, 2013 at 6:58 AM

The proletariat will never understand how difficult it is for the bourgeoisie.

Since they struggle so mightlily on on behalf they deserve all these perks.

acyl72 on June 11, 2013 at 8:27 AM

like Bernie Goldberg said tonight, if the press was reporting fairly obama’s approval would be 20 point less

r keller on June 10, 2013 at 9:42 PM

If the press reported fairly BO would:
Not have been elected in 2008.
Not have been elected in 2012.
Have been impeached.
Have been arrested.

Lets face it. BO is 100% untouchable and can literally do as he pleases as can his cronies. This is not only the most corrupt but, also the most untouchable one in our history. I have absolution conviction he will go down in history as the greatest leader of the USA as well as the world. Heck, the guy won a Nobel just for existing.

Dr. Frank Enstine on June 11, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Obviously, this calls for even more surveillance of everything.

Akzed on June 11, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Someone should try to hire Richard Windsor and claim that Lisa Jackson is a made-up persona… and then ask the EPA for the personnel records on this stellar Richard Windsor.

This is brilliant. It would get MSNBC to report on it because conservatives are dumb and don’t even know that Lisa Jackson is real and Richard Windsor is fake, which gets NBC/CBS/ABC/Politico/NatlJournal/TheHill to report on how dumb conservatives are and then bam! we spring the trap.

ramesees on June 11, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Interesting comment on Richard Windsor at the WaPo Blog…don’t know if it’s right or not but it seems…plausible. Still, they didn’t have to give the fake guy an Ethics Award, did they?

As a Government IT staffer, this fake address stuff is a non-issue. The reason the fake addresses are made is that most government and business e-mail addresses are easily guessed. Once anyone knows the standard used (some variation of first name and last name) at a given organization, the entire management structure is flooded with junk mail and crazy people. Most executives turn over their “by standard” e-mail accounts to administrative aides to monitor for one e-mail in a thousand that might require attention. The executive will then use something else and it doesn’t really matter what is used. Something easy to remember is nice but not really essential. As long as this is done above board and identified to the IT, IG, and FOIA staffers it is a red herring.

ramesees on June 11, 2013 at 9:37 AM

War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.

Let’s Party like it’s 1984

NOMOBO on June 11, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Snoopy

Moved from the comics section to the front page.

seven on June 11, 2013 at 10:36 AM

All FOIA releases should be over the signature of a “Responsible Officer” of the agency/department involved, who should be personally, financially, responsible for the release of any information of any individual that could be a civil-rights violation.
Strip them of their immunity.
Make them as responsible for their actions as they would be in the private sector.

Another Drew on June 11, 2013 at 11:26 AM

“…As long as this is done above board and identified to the IT, IG, and FOIA staffers it is a red herring.”

But that’s the point: It wasn’t revealed!

Another Drew on June 11, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Trust me I’m from the government and I’m here to help….myself. Now hand it over.

jukin3 on June 11, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Joe Manchin is waiting for the EPA scandals to hit, as well. Apparently they are also harassing non-green companies. You know we’re a coal state and the EPA is finding every thing they can to revoke permits.

delicountessa on June 14, 2013 at 5:53 PM