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Republicans press EPA chief Jackson again for information on secret email accounts

Republicans on the House Science Committee sent a follow-up letter on Monday to EPA Chief Administrator Lisa Jackson, once again pressing her for records related to the use of alias email accounts.

“The public trusts that its government will operate in an open and transparent manner. As the EPA seeks to implement regulations that will have a significant impact on the everyday lives of Americans it should do so in a manner that respects the public’s trust,” reads the letter.

The letter was a follow-up to one sent last month to Jackson asking for documents and information related to the use of alias email accounts. The EPA responded to the committee two weeks late and confirmed the use of a second email account by EPA Chief Jackson, but the agency did not fulfill the committee’s request for records.

“While we understand the need for a secondary account for management and communications purposes, your choice to use a false identity remains baffling,” reads the letter.

“We remain concerned about whether EPA has adequately preserved these records and provided appropriate responses to requests for these records,” the letter continues. “We also question whether responses to records requests sufficiently connect the alias accounts to the real individual.”

“For more than a decade, EPA Administrators have been assigned two official, government-issued email accounts: a public account and an internal account,” the EPA said in response to the House Science Committee’s November letter. “The internal account is an everyday, working email account of the Administrator to communicate with staff and other government officials.”

Last month, Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow Chris Horner told The Daily Caller News Foundation that sources within the EPA confirmed that Jackson used an alias email account under the name “Richard Windsor.”

“Richard Windsor” was just “[o]ne of the alternate email addresses she used,” said Horner, adding that the practice of using alias emails was instituted by Carol Browner, former director of the Obama White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy and Bill Clinton’s EPA administrator.

The Daily Caller News Foundation was also provided screenshots showing that the Richard Windsor account was installed onto three computers under Jackson’s name.

Last week, the EPA inspector general launched an investigation into the agency’s record management practices to see if they were in line with federal law — nearly one month after the House Science Committee sent its initial letter to the EPA. The inspector general’s office will also look at whether or not the EPA “[p]romoted or encouraged the use of private or alias email accounts to conduct official government business.”

Also, the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to Jackson last week, pressing her on the agency’s use of private and alias email accounts.

“We recognize the utility of a secondary, internal email account for the conduct of agency business,” wrote Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan and Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida in a letter to Jackson that was sent last Thursday.

“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,” the House Energy and Commerce Committee letter continued.

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