Members of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee today sent a third letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson demanding records related to the use of dual, secondary, or non-public email accounts at the agency. Specifically, the letter called on the agency to provide records involving Administrator Jackson's use of an email account under the alias "Richard Windsor." On December 27, 2012, Administrator Jackson announced her plan to resign.
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): "This is one of the first letters I am sending as the Committee's new Chairman because I want to ensure a response from the Administrator prior to her departure from the federal government. When the head of the EPA uses a false identity to conduct official government business, it raises serious questions that must be answered.
"The American public deserves to know whether Administrator Jackson's secret email accounts were appropriately maintained by the agency according to requirements by federal law. So far, EPA has refused to respond to the Science, Space, and Technology Committee's repeated requests. If they have nothing to hide, why not comply with our request? EPA's refusal only adds to suspicion that Administrator Jackson's secret email accounts were intended to evade transparency and circumvent congressional oversight."
In a letter to the Committee on December 12, 2012, EPA's congressional affairs office confirmed the use of a second email account used by Administrator Jackson, but the agency failed to provide any of the records requested in the Committee's November 15 letter. That response was two weeks late and incomplete.
On December 18, 2012, members of the Committee restated their previous request. The EPA failed to meet the January 4, 2013 deadline. Today's letter once again reaffirms the Committee's request and adds that "failure to respond may result in formal action requiring EPA's compliance."
On November 15, 2012, members of the Committee called on EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins, Jr. to conduct a review of EPA's electronic management practices. The IG's office confirmed in December 2012 its plan to initiate a review. Specifically, the IG investigation is intended to "determine whether EPA follows applicable laws and regulations when using private and alias email accounts to conduct official business."
The letter was signed by Chairman Smith, along with Committee members, Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Ralph Hall (R-TX), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Paul Broun (R-GA), and Andy Harris (R-MD).