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Recent E-mail Documents Secured Through FOIA Production Reveal Continued Pattern of Using Private E-mails Accounts — Lobbyist Requests Senior Counsel Pass Lobbying Memo to Administrator’s Private E-Mail Account
Washington, D.C. – A recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitted by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) has produced documents that once again show this Agency practices circumventing Federal law, conducting official business on private e-mail servers with ‘green’ interest groups and “industry validator” lobbyists to write rules and regulations.
In an e-mail sent by Michael J. Bradley, president and founder of a for-profit private energy consulting firm representing an array of corporate and ‘green’ group advocacy organizations, particularly a group EPA suggested in an email was its “industry validator” for greenhouse gas regulations, the Clean Energy Group — to Joe Goffman, senior counsel in EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, Bradley says, “Joe, Would you please send this email to Gina [McCarthy, EPA Administrator] for me? I would have sent it to her directly with a cc to you but I don’t have a private email address for her and would prefer to not use an office email address.”
Bradley then addresses the remainder of the e-mail to “Gina,” and provides two full pages of points he would like her to consider regarding the Cross-State Pollution Rule (CSAPR). Bradley continues, “The companies [some of which are Bradley clients] want to remain supportive of the final CSAPR…Our goal is to have a rule implemented that is legally sound, gives the industry the needed business certainty for investments in cleaner generation, and addresses the air transport issues affecting many of the state in which the CEG members operate [CEG=Clean Energy Group, which is a coalition of electric generating and electric distribution companies that Bradley’s firm runs]. We would not want to see the rule stayed.”
Bradley sent this email to Goffman’s GMail account at 1:35 in the morning on September 18, 2011. Three minutes later, Bradley forwarded this to the Yahoo email account of EPA Policy Office aide Michael Goo. Twenty months later, according to an email E&E Legal obtained under FOIA, Goo forwarded this to his EPA email account.
“That it is a regular practice of senior officials of this EPA to use private e-mail accounts and other ‘off-book’ techniques to craft rules with ‘green’ activists with clear financial and political interests is now clear beyond a reasonable doubt,” said E&E Legal Senior Legal Fellow Chris Horner. “The e-mail from Michael Bradley, an individual representing private interests, to Joe Goffman and Gina McCarthy, which Goffman forwards to a non-official email account of his colleague, are obvious efforts to impact federal regulation outside of the required system.”
E&E Legal has pursued the EPA’s illegal collusion with ‘green’ groups and their use of illegal private email accounts for several years now with significant success. On behalf of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Horner led the effort which uncovered the fact that former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was using an alias “Richard Windsor” to conduct official agency business using an account that did not identify her. In addition, Horner and E&E Legal published an interim and final report showing the extreme level of collusion that exists between the EPA and ‘green’ groups to write significant rules that have a dramatic impact on this country’s energy sector and overall economy. E&E Legal also released a video on the this collusion as well.
Most recently, E&E Legal published a report showing Goo’s extensive use of his Yahoo account with green-group lobbyists to craft EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations. Unfortunately, yesterday a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit hearing challenges to those rules refused to allow this evidence of improper ex parte collaboration into the case.
“This Administration has a real problem understanding the rules when it comes to using private e-mail accounts to conduct public business,” said E&E Legal Executive Director Craig Richardson. “Hillary Clinton has set the bar for flagrant use of private email to conduct official business ‘off-line,’ but EPA comes in at a close second. In so doing the EPA has essentially outsourced it’s rule-making function to ‘green’ activists and rent-seeking lobbies hell-bent on destroying traditional energy sources in an effort to replace it with renewables, an industry that their wealthy benefactors are already making a killing at the taxpayer and ratepayer expense.”
The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) is a 501(c)(3) organization engaged in strategic litigation, policy research, and public education on important energy and environmental issues. Primarily through its petition litigation and transparency practice areas, E&E Legal seeks to correct onerous federal and state policies that hinder the economy, increase the cost of energy, eliminate jobs, and do little or nothing to improve the environment.