Elizabeth Harrington @ CNS News:
Update: CEI’s Chris Horner tells CNSNews.com the next step is a meeting with Justice Department officials: “We will ask them to right EPA’s ship, and if they do not agree, we will ask the court,” he said. Horner says he wants a “straight answer” to a direct question: Did the EPA, as part of a FOIA request, search the “Richard Windsor” email accounts? Richard Windsor is the alias used by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, apparently to shield some official communications from public view.)
(CNSNews.com) – 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 (email@example.com), 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.”