Citing “a pattern of behavior directed at subverting transparency,” the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is requesting information from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Lisa Jackson (pictured) concerning secret e-mail accounts she and other senior EPA officials are allegedly using to circumvent federal openness laws.
According to a lawsuit filed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), Jackson has used e-mail accounts under more than one alias, among them “Richard Windsor,” enabling her to make policy away from public view. Considering that Jackson has been hailed by Rolling Stone as the EPA’s “most progressive chief ever — and one of the most powerful members of Obama’s Cabinet,” this is certainly cause for concern.
CEI’s Christopher Horner discovered the deception while researching for his recently published book The Liberal War on Transparency. In his book he “revealed the existence of a series of black, or ‘alias’ email accounts used by EPA administrators,” Horner blogged at National Review Online. “These were actively instituted by none other than [former EPA administrator] Carol Browner, who designed her own secret address, for an account that I also learned was set to ‘auto-delete.’”
You remember Ms. Browner? She’s the lady who suddenly ordered her computer hard drive be reformatted and backup tapes be erased, just hours after a federal court issued a “preserve” order that her lawyers at the Clinton Justice Department insisted they hadn’t yet told her about? She’s the one who said it didn’t matter because she didn’t use her computer for email anyway? Yes, that one.
Concealing and destroying official communications, therefore, appears to be a way of life at the EPA.
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Photo of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson: AP Images