Government in the Shadows; the EPA's Fake Email Accounts Demand an Accounting

Article excerpt


Richard Windsor was a model employee at the Environmental Protection Agency. He was so beloved by his colleagues that the agency awarded him the title scholar of ethical behavior, and bestowed several cybersecurity certifications on him.

But Mr. Windsor is not a real person. From the sleuths at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, we learned that Richard Windsor is the email alias of Lisa P. Jackson, then the EPA administrator. Mrs. Jackson assumed the bogus identity to evade scrutiny from congressional oversight committees while coordinating her job duties with left-wing environmental activists. That doesn't sound like ethical behavior, and it may have been illegal.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute's Christopher Horner discovered the sham while researching a book, The Liberal War Against Transparency. Mrs. Jackson may have learned the trick of creating a fraudulent identity from an earlier EPA administrator, Carol Browning, who used fake emails to conduct official government business in the Clinton administration. Both women were evading at least the spirit, and maybe the letter, of the Freedom of Information Act, which guarantees the public's right to know what government is doing with its money.

With a budget of $8 billion, the EPA and its army of 20,000 bureaucrats are doing a lot, and most of it is not good. It imposes so much red tape that it costs private companies $353 billion to comply with the law. Automakers must regularly redesign their cars and trucks to meet changing fuel-economy targets, and coal plants will soon have to shut down lest they violate revised air-quality rules. …