The Competitive Enterprise Institute will file the suit in federal district court tomorrow because Treasury Department officials denied the non-profit organization's request for a waiver of reproduction fees under the federal Freedom of Information Act.
Treasury officials also told CEI that the cost of photocopying the emails in order to make them public would not be worth the cost because doing so "would not significantly inform the public about the operations or activities of government."
There would be no reproduction costs, however, because, according to CEI, the non-profit told Treasury it would accept an electronic version of the emails.
"At first, Treasury illegally delayed responding to CEI for several months," said Christopher Horner, an attorney, senior fellow at CEI and author of a recent book, The Liberal War on Transparency.
"Now, it refused to issue a waiver of fees even though courts have been clear these fees were designed for non-profit watchdog groups. It claims this would place an outrageous cost burden on the agency. It would cost the agency the cost of one CD disc and the time it would take to download the emails to the disc," Horner said.