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Thursday, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology issued a letter to Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator, concerning an alias email account. The letter referenced a report published by the Daily Caller, November 12.
According to the Daily Caller, the email alias was uncovered by Chris Horner, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Horner uncovered Jackson's alias while researching for his new book entitled, "The Liberal War on Transparency." The Daily Caller reports, "Horner said two former "fairly senior" EPA officials contacted him while he was researching his book, and gave him the name of one of the email alias names used by EPA Chief Jackson."
The letter from the House Science Committee cited the alias "Richard Windsor" but the Daily Caller report indicates Jackson may have used more than one alias. "The use of these accounts could seriously impair records collection, preservation, and access, therefore compromising transparency and oversight," the letter stated. Circumventing standard protocol that all agency email communication be conducted through official agency email accounts raises concerns beyond those of transparancy.
"The use of alias accounts to those not known to staff responsible for retaining and providing access to records seriously causes me to question the fidelity of previous responses to not only the public through FOIA, but also the Office of the Inspector General as well as Congress," the Science Committee explained.
Even if private accounts are used for conducting business, the contents must be made available, a Washington Examiner report reveals. Why would Jackson need to use an alias account? What would she be hiding? Why go through the trouble of keeping correspondence off the record? How many other alias accounts does she have? Horner and the CEI filed suit requesting an order forcing the EPA and Jackson to disclose unauthorized email account contents that may have been used for business purposes. To date, the EPA has not cooperated and these questions remain unanswered.
Obama's EPA is notorious for overstepping boundaries, so this type of behavior is not exactly shocking, but it's not acceptable either. Add the EPA to another agency who, under Obama's supervision is embroiled in scandal and alleged malfeasance. However, if what the Washington Post reported Friday is accurate, Jackson may be moving on from the EPA shortly. Given the Obama administration's unofficial disavowal of transparency, it's difficult to imagine Jackson's replacement holding transparency in high regard.