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The EPA's "Richard Windsor" Email Scandal

Mar. 15, 2013: EPA releases part of the third tranche of emails.

For dozens of pages at a time, EPA withholds all the contenst of the emails.

CEI's Mar. 15 press release

 

February 15, 2013: EPA releases the second tranche of emails after 5:00 p.m.

Like the first tranche, these emails are heavily redacted.

 

January 14, 2013: EPA releases approximately 2,100 emails, supposedly from Lisa Jackson's "one" secondary account.

At 4:55 p.m., Christopher Horner received a hand-delivered cover letter and CD from the EPA. The CD contained 2,100 emails, all of which were Google Alerts for "Lisa Jackson EPA," news briefs from media outlets, or EPA media clips. Unlike the emails released earlier to the Center for Progressive Reform (see Nov. 19, above), these emails do not reference "Richard Windsor." Horner called the EPA's response "deeply troubling."  

CEI's Jan. 14 press release

 

January 5, 2013: EPA fails to respond to House Science Committee, Oversight and Investigations Subcomittee as requested.

Dec. 27, 2012: EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announces her resignation.

Lisa Jackson announces she will step down after President Obama’s State of the Union address.

CEI’s Dec. 27 press release

 

Dec. 13, 2012: The EPA Inspector General launches an investigation.

The EPA’s Inspector General announces it is auditing the agency’s email records to “determine whether EPA follows applicable laws and regulations when using private and alias email accounts to conduct official business.”

EPA Inspector General’s Dec. 13 memo

CEI’s Dec. 17 press release

 

Dec. 13. 2012: A second Congressional committee investigates.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee formally questions EPA about the use of secret accounts. In particular, the committee questions why Administrator Jackson thought it was necessary to use an alias.

The Committee’s Dec. 13 letter to Lisa Jackson

The Committee’s Dec. 13 press release

 

Dec. 11, 2012: EPA finally collects requested documents.

The Department of Justice informs Christopher Horner that the EPA has collected approximately 12,000 responsive records in response to his May 8 FOIA request about Jackson "War on Coal" emails. The EPA agrees to produce 3,000 documents each month starting on Jan. 14, 2013.

 

November 19, 2012: EPA General Counsel resigns.

Jackson sends an email notifying EPA staff that General Counsel Scott Fulton, Jackson's deputy administrator at the time her "Richard Windsor" alias was instituted, has resigned to take a position at the Environmental Law Institute.

 

Nov. 19, 2012: Media confirms use of “Richard Windsor” email account.

The Daily Caller News Foundation discovers the “Richard Windsor” email address appears in an EPA email thread released earlier in the year by the Center for Progressive Reform, who obtained the emails in a FOIA request.

The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Nov. 19 article

EPA’s Aug. 30, 2011 email thread

 

Nov. 15, 2012: A Congressional committee investigates.

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology formally questions the EPA about the use of secret accounts. In particular, the House Committee questions why Lisa Jackson thought it was necessary to use an alias.

The Committee’s Nov. 15 letters to EPA officials

The Committee’s Nov. 16 press release

 

Nov. 12, 2012: Horner learns about “Richard Windsor.”

Two high-level officials in the EPA inform Horner that Lisa Jackson uses the alias “Richard Windsor” for her secret secondary account. According to the 2008 EPA memo, other administrators' secondary accounts were "configured so the account holder's name appeared in the 'sent by' field." Jackson's use of the "Richard Windsor" alias, on the other hand, represents a false identity. Horner makes the identity and practice public in a post on National Review Online.

Horner’s Nov. 12 National Review column

 

Sept. 28, 2012: CEI sues EPA to force compliance with Horner’s FOIA.

For nearly five months, EPA has refused to provide responsive records to Horner’s May 8 FOIA request. On Sept. 28, CEI files a lawsuit in the D.C. District Court to compel the EPA to respond.

CEI’s Sept. 28 complaint

CEI’s Oct. 1 press release

 

August 9, 2012: CEI files an administrative appeal of the EPA's failure to respond.

 

August 5, 2012: The EPA misses the final deadline to respond.

 

June 5, 2012: The EPA's response is due.

 

May 18, 2012: The EPA promises to respond.

 

May 8, 2012: Horner files followup FOIA requests with the EPA.

Horner files three FOIA requests seeking discussions about the creation and use of “alias” email accounts at the EPA and certain described correspondence on EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's alias email account referencing the EPA's "climate" agenda and what is known as its War on Coal.

 

April 2012: CEI Senior Fellow Christopher Horner discovers use of alias email accounts by Environmental Protection Agency officials.

While conducting research for his book, The Liberal War on Transparency, and in reviewing documents produced to CEI in response to one of his Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, Christopher Horner finds an EPA memo from 2008 describing “alias” email accounts initiated by former EPA Administrator Carol Browner. Horner learns a “dual account structure” exists at the EPA whereby alias email accounts are established for high-level officials. According to the EPA memo, “few EPA staff members, usually only high-level staff, even know that these accounts exist.” The memo acknowledges the accounts were set for "auto-delete," and that it was nonetheless possible to recreate their internal usage histories but that the EPA did not attempt to recreate the Browner account's usage.

 

Media Highlights:

 

Feb. 10, 2013: CEI and Chris Horner featured in The Washington Examiner: "Non-profit Freedom of Information Act Requestor Claims EPA Abusing Fee Waivers"

Jan. 3, 2013: Christopher Horner discusses Jackson’s resignation (Video, CNBC)

   

 

 

   >> Watch clip on YouTube here.

 

 

 

Jan. 2, 2013: Chris Horner quoted in The Washington Examiner: “Transparency Advocates See Tough Year, Growing ‘Windsorgate’ Scandal at EPA Ahead

Jan. 2, 2013: Megyn Kelly discusses Jackson’s resignation, cites CEI (Video, Fox News Channel)

 

 

   >> Watch clip on YouTube here

 

 

Dec. 27, 2012: Chris Horner quoted on FoxNews.com: “Attorney Claims EPA Chief Resigned Over Alias Email Accounts

Dec. 27, 2012: Chris Horner quoted in The Daily Mail: "Did EPA Chief Lisa Jackson Resign Because Emails She Sent From a Secret Alias Account Will Go Public Next Month?"

Nov. 25, 2012: Chris Horner publishes an op-ed in The Washington Examiner: “EPA Administrators Invent Excuses to Avoid Transparency

● Nov. 21, 2012: Chris Horner cited in Bloomberg News: “Watchdog Wants EPA Chief’s Use of Alias Email Probed

Nov. 17, 2012: Chris Horner quoted in The Washington Times: “Congress Demands EPA’s Secret Email Accounts

● Nov. 12, 2012: Chris Horner publishes a column on National Review Online: “Who is ‘Richard Windsor?’

 

Oct. 2, 2012: CEI featured in The Washington Examiner: “EPA Refuses to Talk About Think Tank Suit Demanding Docs on Officials Using ‘Secret’ Emails