Last week, Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to EPA Chief administrator Lisa Jackson, raising concerns over the agency’s use of secondary email accounts to conduct official business.
The committee wrote that these accounts could be used to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests as well as congressional requests, which hurts transparency
“In recent weeks, questions have been raised in Congress and among public interest groups about the use of one or more secondary email accounts and aliases by you and potentially other officials at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),” wrote Republicans Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan and Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida.
“We recognize the utility of a secondary, internal email account for the conduct of agency business,” the letter continues. “We seek to understand whether conducting business with an alias has in any way affected the transparency of the agency’s activities or the quality or completeness of information provided to the Committee pursuant to Rules X and XI of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives.”
Last month, Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow Chris Horner revealed to The Daily Caller News Foundation that Jackson had a secondary email account under the the pseudonym “Richard Windsor.”
“That is the name — sorry, one of the alias names — used by Obama’s radical EPA chief to keep her email from those who ask for it,” Horner said, adding that he was made aware of this by two former EPA officials. (RELATED: EPA inspector general audits agency’s use of secret email accounts)
Horner revealed in his recently published book the widespread use of secret email accounts by top EPA officials. Horner said that Carol Browner, former director of the Obama White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy and Bill Clinton’s EPA administrator, instituted the use of such accounts.
Subsequently, the House science committee took up the issue and sent a letter to the EPA demanding information on whether senior personnel use secretive means — like aliases and private email accounts — to conduct government business, citing the Daily Caller News Foundation report.
“The use of these [hidden] accounts could seriously impair records collection, preservation, and access, therefore compromising transparency and oversight,” said the letter, signed by House Science Committee chairman Rep. Ralph Hall.
The Daily Caller News Foundation also obtained evidence from sources with direct knowledge of the EPA showing that the
“Richard Windsor” account was installed on three computers listed under Jackson’s name.
“This is a complete link between the Windsor email address and Jackson,” said a source with direct knowledge of the agency.
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