CEI’s discovery in late 2012 of then-EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s false-identity “Richard Windsor” email account drew a fair amount of attention at the time. Some media outlets, realizing they may have been getting the runaround from the “most transparent administration, ever” along with the rest of us, set off on broader campaigns to root out other tricks. A Windsor-inspired AP inquiry prompted headlines like these.
CEI was forced to sue to get the Windsor emails it at first sought. The first revelations, from just emails with certain “climate”-related keywords, painted a picture of an agency out of control, sweating the policy sheets with media allies and green group lobbyists…the few they hadn’t brought in-house to ply their trade. We then sought all emails on that false-flag account. EPA said it would slow-walk this second request to the pitiful tune of 100 emails per month, for the next century. So we sued.
In the meantime, the Windsor affair became notorious while leaving some in the media confused, possibly unsure that this was such a bad thing so long as it was the right kind of administration doing these things. As recently as last month it was still being twisted by apologists at the Washington Post, whose reportage of yet another investigation sparked by Windsor included pure invention: “The 2012 request by CREW was sparked by the discovery that Lisa Jackson, then-administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, had been using an alias email at work with the name “Richard Windsor,” largely for personal communication.”
There having been a handful of personal-ish emails among the many tens of thousands of responsive pages— which are largely available, specifically set-aside, online — this is simply made up. In fact this email account was Jackson’s principal account for corresponding with senior EPA officials, other cabinet officers, White House staff, and the odd lobbyist (CEI’s litigation also revealed that Jackson used her actual personal account, with Verizon, used for corresponding with lobbyists from industry and green pressure groups).