EPA admin’s alleged secret email account found in previously released emails

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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The name “Richard Windsor,” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s alleged secret alias email account, has been found to appear in an agency email thread that was released by a liberal group earlier this year.

The Center for Progressive Reform released emails obtained earlier this year from a Freedom of Information Act request that detail top EPA officials’ frustrations over a White House letter to House GOP leadership that did not spell out the reported benefits of certain regulations.

The emails included several top EPA officials, including EPA Press Secretary Betsaida Alcantara, EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe, and then EPA White House Liaison Daniel Kanninen. The emails also included a Richard Windsor, who features prominently in the released emails, but a search on the EPA staff directory reveals no one with that name.

“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,” said Chris Horner, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and author of the new book “The Liberal War on on Transparency,” meaning there could be more “alias” accounts.

The name Richard Windsor was revealed to Horner by two former EPA officials who contacted him while he was researching his book and gave him one of the email alias names used by EPA Chief Jackson.

Last week, the House Science Committee 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. The House committee cited a report published in The Daily Caller that EPA chief administrator Lisa Jackson may be using a secret email account under the name “Richard Windsor.”

“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 a statement in response to the House committee’s letters. “The internal account is an everyday, working email account of the Administrator to communicate with staff and other government officials.”

“Given the large volume of emails sent to the public account — more than 1.5 million in fiscal year 2012, for instance — the internal email account is necessary for effective management and communication between the Administrator and agency colleagues,” the agency added.

The EPA said both public and internal email accounts are reviewed in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

“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 Scince Committee chairman Rep. Ralph Hall.

In his book, Horner revealed the widespread use of such secret email accounts by top EPA officials. He alleged 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.

In September, Horner and the Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a lawsuit against the EPA, asking the U.S. District Court to order them to produce records regarding “‘secondary,’ non-public email accounts for EPA administrators, the existence of which accounts Plaintiff discovered in an Agency document obtained under a previous [Freedom of Information Act] request,” which the EPA says were known only to a “few EPA staff members, usually only high-level senior staff.”

Last week, CEI sent another FOIA request to the EPA “to see what [Jackson] was saying about her radical plans in the means selected to avoid public scrutiny, ‘Richard Windsor,'” said Horner.

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