Richard Windsor Makes Her Appearance in Second Batch of EPA E-mails

by Myron Ebell on February 25, 2013

in Blog

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The Environmental Protection Agency released to Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute late in the evening on Friday, 15th February, part of the second of four batches of e-mails that respond to a Freedom of Information Act request.  EPA was forced to turn over the approximately 12,000 e-mails only after CEI filed suit in federal court.  On 20th February, the EPA released some more e-mails in order to get close to the 3,000 they promised the court they would release each month for four months.  All the e-mails have been posted on the web by the EPA and may be seen here.

Since EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson recently left office, the EPA no longer needs to guard her Richard Windsor alias e-mail address.  Thus Richard Windsor now appears as the recipient or sender of the e-mails.

Many of the e-mails are heavily redacted.  The reason claimed by EPA for most of the redactions is that they are part of the pre-decisional deliberative process and therefore exempt from FOIA.  CEI will be going back to court to challenge many of these redactions as improper and some as laughably so.  The judge will have a lot of fun reading to do.

Two e-mails that were not redacted concern the Coal Ash Rule.  The first e-mail, dated 15th December 2009, is from Allyn Brooks-LaSure in the Administrator’s office and is addressed to Jackson and several other EPA officials.  It can be found as numbered document 476 in Part B of the second release.   Brooks-LaSure writes:

Administrator, you have your own Christmas carols…

And then copies a December 15, 2009 blog post by Rob Perks, Director of the Center for Advocacy Campaigns at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Call it a gift or a curse, but I have a thing for song parody. I’m like the Weird Al Yankovic of environmentalists. Usually my peculiar “talent” gets displayed at the office holiday party. Who can forget my odes to coal belted out last year by NRDC’s in-house carolers?

Unfortunately, I missed this year’s party due to travel. But never fear, I give to you the 2009 coal carol—ba-rumpa, bum, bum.

Coal Ash Regs Are Comin’ To Town

She’s making a list/Priority: High/Gonna find out who’s wet or dry

Coal ash regs are comin’ to town!

Yes, Lisa Jackson/Is making all haste/EPA’s cracking down/On combustion waste

Coal ash regs are comin’ to town!

She knows which landfill’s leaching/She knows which pond might break/She knows they all lack liners/Close ’em down, for goodness sake!

One-thirty million tons/Ev-ery year/Spew from coal plants/Far and near.

Coal ash regs are comin’ to town!

So, you better watch out/Coal waste fly/A high hazard, Either wet or dry.

Coal ash regs are comin’ to town!

Apparently, putting companies out of business and workers out of jobs adds to the holiday spirit just as much at the EPA as it does at environmental pressure groups.

The second e-mail (document 506 in Part B) regarding the Coal Ash Rule is dated 30th December 2009 and lists the attendees at a forthcoming meeting to discuss the rule.  Eleven EPA officials and staffers are listed as attending along with Lisa Evans and Marty Hayden of Earthjustice, Eric Schaeffer and Jeffrey Stant of the Environmental Integrity Project, Bruce Niles and Mary Ann Hitt of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, Scott Slesinger of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Patrice Simms of Howard University, and Jackie Kruszewski of the Southern Environmental Law Center.  To be fair, the very next e-mail reminds Jackson of a fifteen minute phone call scheduled with Steve Leer, CEO of Arch Coal.

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