EPA Chief Who Used An Alias To Avoid Scrutiny Complains Trump Admin Isn’t Transparent
EPA Chief Scott Pruitt is a threat to the agency’s credibility, said Lisa Jackson, who served as chief of the EPA under former President Barack Obama, in an interview with Tech Crunch Tuesday.
Jackson currently serves as Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. During her term leading the EPA, Jackson operated a secret email account under the alias “Richard Windsor,” allegedly “to keep her email from those who ask for it” through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow Chris Horner told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an email after the fake account was discovered.
“The EPA has been run by democrats and by republicans, but it’s never in its history — and its 40+ years old — been run by someone who seems to be determined to do the one thing that could destroy its credibility, which is make it non-transparent,” Jackson said Tuesday.
“Every EPA administrator has committed to trying to regulate transparently and we don’t have that commitment anymore,” Jackson continued. “The leadership has decided to move away from the transparency that assures people that their health and their communities come first rather than somebody else’s bottom line.”
During a 2013 talk at Princeton University, Jackson explained her reasons for keeping the secret email account in response to a student’s question.
“It is not an unofficial account. The account is ‘Windsor.email@example.com,'” Jackson said. “When we got to EPA, I said let’s make it ‘firstname.lastname@example.org,’ and the career staff, who work there, advised … that that shouldn’t be done, because we have a searchable database, and what would happen is people would search it, find it, and start using it.”
“After 25 years in public service, I have people accusing me on both sides of doing something unethical to hide information,” she added. “And I have endless times when I’ve said to people, ‘Make sure when you’re searching for FOIA information you search the Richard Windsor account.'”
Horner said any claim that the Windsor email account’s existence was widely known is “preposterous.”
“We see emails from many high-ranking EPA officials sent not to Windsor but to Lisa Jackson’s account in her name; we have dozens of them proving that in fact the false identity was known only to a select, small group of insiders for certain communications,” Horner told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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