Latest EPA "Richard Windsor" Documents Heavily Redacted

Latest EPA "Richard Windsor" Documents Heavily Redacted

EPA Claims Special Exception for 85 Percent of Material Withheld
February 19, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 19, 2013 – Yet again, despite a court order, the Environmental Protection Agency refused to come clean about its former administrator’s involvement in President Obama’s war on coal.

Three hours after most federal offices had closed on Feb. 15 for the holiday weekend, EPA turned over to the Competitive Enterprise Institute the second of four scheduled tranches of emails sent by or to former administrator Lisa Jackson concerning the Obama administration’s war on coal. The emails were sent as part of an agreement between the EPA and the Department of Justice to produce 12,000 sought by CEI through Freedom of Information Act requests.

These emails, like the 2,100 of 3,000 owed sent in the first tranche, consisted mostly of media accounts of the agency’s activities. Some legitimate emails between Jackson – some listed under her name, other listed under the alias, Richard Windsor, discovered last summer by CEI Senior Fellow Chris Horner in research for his book, “The Liberal War On Transparency,” – did appear.

But nearly 95 percent of the correspondence from the administrator and more than 80 percent of the email sent to ‘Richard Windsor’ – excluding news stories available to the public – were redacted despite claims by President Obama his was the most transparent administration ever. The agency claimed "Exception 5" – which allows agencies to exempt “deliberative” exchanges with senior staff – for more than 85 percent of the redactions.

Some revelations did occur. In one email, the administrator admits she has little familiarity with the debate surrounding fracking. And there was this Christmas poem from an EPA employee:

Coal Ash Regs Are Comin' To Town

She's making a list,

Priority: High,

Gonna find out who's wet or dry.

Coal ash regs are comin' to town!

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Yes, Lisa Jackson,

Is making all haste,

EPA's cracking down, On combustion waste.

Coal ash regs are comin' to town!

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She knows which landfill's leaching,

She knows which pond might break,

She knows they all lack liners,

Close 'em down, for goodness sake!

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One-thirty million tons,

Ev-ery year,

Spew from coal plants, Far and near.

Coal ash regs are comin' to town!

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So, you better watch out,

Coal waste fly,

A high hazard, Either wet or dry.

Coal ash regs are comin' to town!