The first day President Obama took office in 2009 the White House website declared his Administration would become "the most open and transparent in history
." Obama issued high-profile orders pledging "a new era" and "an unprecedented level of openness
" across the massive federal government.
During "Sunshine Week," March 10 - 16, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Republicans are working to remind the Administration of their transparency pledge to the American people.
EPA E-mail Practices
Internal policy regarding e-mail practices for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instructs employees to "not use any outside e-mail account to conduct official Agency business."
EPW Republicans have uncovered the use of alias and private e-mail accounts to conduct Agency business, which violates Agency policy. These questionable and widespread practices are used to avoid transparency laws and keep the public and Congress in the dark.
EPA's Transparency Troubles
Complete Disregard for Transparency: The most infamous example of the EPA's complete disregard for transparency is outgoing Administrator Lisa Jackson's Richard Windsor emails. Richard Windsor has become the poster child for this troubling episode, which has been steadily broadening.
Improper Collusion: Recent uncovered emails show high level officials collaborating with environmental groups. Administrator Martin, who has since resigned, regularly communicated with far-left environmental groups like the Environmental Defense Fund on his personal email account to circumvent federal transparency laws. His emails exposed the EPA's efforts to further bury coal plants under crushing regulations.
Widespread Misconduct: Multiple EPA employees have used non-EPA e-mail accounts to conduct agency business, including: Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe using perciasepe.org; Region 8 Administrator James Martin used me.com; Region 9 Administrator Jared Blumenfeld used comcast.net; and former Deputy General Counsel Tseming Yang used gmail.com.