ON-Lion Letter

In March, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in Washington, D.C., filed a lawsuit in federal court against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its treatment of a former Administrator Lisa Jackson's e-mail account.  Tracing back to a 2012 Freedom of Information Act request for the e-mails of Jackson’s account in the name of fictitious employee Richard Windsor, the EPA must now answer for its anti-transparent behavior.

Specifically, EPA has stonewalled CEI repeatedly and continues to slow-walk CEI's "Windsor" request, insisting it need only process 120,000 records at the glacial pace of 100 records processed per month; that is, it says it will conclude this production in 100 years.  Making matters worse, EPA refuses to process other CEI requests until after that time, unless CEI agrees to put its "Windsor" request on hold.

This is 1/30th the rate at which EPA processed certain "Windsor" e-mails relating to its "war on coal" -- and spectacularly shy of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's processing, for selective production, of 55,000 e-mails in just four months.  This unreasonable timeline on an issue of obvious and increasing public interest -- efforts by senior officials flouting President Barack Obama's "most-transparent administration ever" pledge to thwart transparency -- prompted CEI to file the suit.

"We have shown this administration using whatever tactics it can -- even violating the law -- to hide what is going on in our federal agencies, whether it's Hillary Clinton's personal e-mail account, Lisa Jackson working with lobbyists on her own private account, utilizing text messages then destroying them, or this slow-rolling production of Richard Windsor e-mails for a century,” according to CEI senior fellow Chris Horner.  "What are they trying to hide?  If previously uncovered Windsor e-mails are any indication, it ranges from the embarrassing to the unlawful.  Hillary Clinton and EPA's Richard Windsor both seem to be on the administration's transparency dodgeball team, dodging the public's requests to know what they’re up to. 

"After EPA stonewalled even a federal mediation process, we now turn to the court for relief from an agency behaving as if it is above the law," Horner continued.  "It isn't."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports CEI.

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