EPA Doc Dump: Heavily Redacted Emails of Former Chief Released

The Environmental Protection Agency remains under scrutiny, as EPA spokeswoman Alisha Johnson denied to Fox News last Thursday that former EPA chief Lisa Jackson used a New Jersey government e-mail account during her tenure at the agency.

"That (New Jersey e-mail) account was closed when she left her position" in New Jersey, Johnson told Fox News.

However, EPA spokeswoman Alisha Johnson told FoxNews.com on Thursday that, upon further inspection, it appears Jackson's New Jersey email account only turned up because that was the user name for the New York Times account she had set up.

The denial follows allegations from Washington D.C. attorney Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who initially found the alternative e-mail address of the former EPA administrator and claims Jackson used the account to avoid record requests.

More importantly, the e-mails relating to Jackson’s “Richard Windsor” account that CEI received recently, pursuant to a court order, are heavily redacted. According to CEI, nearly 95 percent "of the e-mail 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."

The CEI Blog Global Warming.org posted the redacted EPA emails on their site Friday:

First, it was 1,200 emails of the Washington Post daily headlines, Google alerts of everything written about the Environmental Protection Agency on a given day and a compendium of blogs that mentioned the EPA. Then, having had their fun, EPA officials got serious in the second tranche of emails they released to CEI late Friday, pursuant to a court ruling that ordered the agency to comply with our FOIA requests. This time, we got actual emails… that revealed a lot… about the fine art of redaction.

In a statement to Breitbart News, Horner wrote:

The biggest sore-thumb in this third-in-a-series of related Friday night document dumps--two of them before 3 day weekends--is the promiscuous and abusive withholding of high-level EPA reactions to media coverage as "deliberative process."

That requires that withheld records truly be "antecedent to the adoption of an agency policy" (Jordan v. DoJ, D.C. Circuit 1978). Carping about the media being insufficiently in the poor dears' pocket, as certain of the emails acknowledge is indeed that case, isn't that.

Illustrating how EPA waived any entitlement to a presumption that their withholdings are legitimate, consider how they use that same "deliberative" exemption to delete an aide's commentary when passing along a slavish email to Jackson from aspiring Senator Ashley Judd (D-TN/KY), when the latter apparently feared that LJack had heard The Judd criticized her. Mmm. Which Agency policy would that be antecedent to? p. 362 of Part C.


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