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Entries in EPA (527)

Friday
Jan182013

CEI Weekly: EPA Response to CEI Suit "Deeply Troubling" 

January 18, 2013

 

Feature: Chris Horner is interviewed by Megyn Kelly on the EPA email scandal.

FEATURE: EPA Response to CEI Suit "Deeply Troubling"

 

On Monday, the EPA released 2,100 emails in response to CEI's lawsuit over a May 8 FOIA for Lisa Jackson's "secondary" email account. Chris Horner explained to Megyn Kelly on Fox News why the EPA's response was "troubling" and why it compounded the unlawful activity CEI has exposed. Watch the interiew here. Also, see CEI's press release on the EPA emails here.

 

SHAPING THE DEBATE

 

A Balanced Approach to Copyright

Ryan Radia's article in Cato Unbound

 

Partisanship Perverts the NLRB

Trey Kovacs' op-ed in The Hill

 

Obama Blinks: No Emperor's New Coin

Bill Frezza's op-ed in RealClearPolitics

 

Circumventing the WTO is Dangerous

Fran Smith's letter to the editor in the Financial Times

 

Why All the Green Pork in a Deal Meant to Avoid the Fiscal Cliff?

Robert J. Bradley's column in Forbes

 

Chris Horner featured in National Review

 

Beer Distributors Say Yes to Middlemen

CEI's citation in The Wall Street Journal

 

Issa Demands EPA Reveal All Secret Email Accounts

Chris Horner cited in The Washington Examiner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                     

 

CEI PODCAST

 

January 17, 2013: Ending Class Action Abuse

 

Lawyers are clever creatures, but they rarely use their powers for good. CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman is an exception to the rule. He is involved in a lawsuit, Kazman v. Frontier Oil, that could set a needed precedent for reining in outrageous attorney fees in groundless class action suits.

Thursday
Jan172013

CEI Today: Hidden EPA rules and emails, fighting back against trial lawyers, and more

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION? - WAYNE CREWS

Openmarket.org: Where Did All The Environmental Protection Agency Rules Go?

 

The Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations has always been squishy and has never bound agencies to issue solely the rules contained within; but the decline in EPA rules in the Unified Agenda between 2011 and 2012 indicates a scrub of some sort before the tardy document was finally released.


Overall, the Agenda contains 4,062 across all the depts and agencies at the active, completed, and long-term stage. This is slightly down from the year before, but it doesn’t seem genuine; the Agenda should be bigger given the far higher number of EPA rules in the past decade.

Where did all the rules go? Liberalization and deciding not to regulate has not been an Obama administration priority. EPA rules have never been lower than 2011′s 318 in the past decade. It seems we’re getting only part of the story and Congress should take a look.
  > View the full commentary at Openmarket.org

> Inteview Wayne Crews

 

EPA EMAIL SCANDAL, CEI FOIA REQUEST - CHRISTOPHER HORNER

At about 4:55 p.m. on Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency finally complied with a court order to deliver the first of four sets of emails in response to a lawsuit filed by Christopher Horner, a senior fellow in the Center for Energy and the Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

EPA owed CEI a cache of identified emails to or from EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (by pure coincidence, that’s now "outgoing Administrator Jackson”...), using one or more of four keywords: coal, climate, endanger/endangerment and/or MACT ("war on coal" emails).

Horner shared his initial analysis of the data dump here.

> Interview Christopher Horner


> View A Timeline of the EPA's "Richard Windsor" Email Scandal


> See also:
New mysteries in EPA's Windsorgate scandal


EPA releases first tranche of Lisa Jackson’s alias e-mail correspondence

CLASS ACTION ATTORNEY FEES - SAM KAZMAN

CEI Lawyer Fights Sky-High Class Action Attorney Fee in Groundless Merger Challenge

Oral arguments are scheduled in Houston today in a lawsuit over a class action settlement that netted attorneys several hundred thousand dollars in fees in return for trivial proxy statement changes.

The case arose from the 2011 Frontier Oil-Holly merger. The shareholders were overwhelmingly satisfied with the proposed merger.  However, as is the case with over 95% of mergers, several trial lawyers saw this as a money-making opportunity and filed class action challenges to the merger, alleging deficiencies in the proxy statements.
> Read more about the case

 

> Interview Sam Kazman

 

 

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website, cei.org, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

Thursday
Jan172013

CEI Today: Defending the AIG lawsuit?, more on the EPA Windsorgate scandal, and a dubious study on BPA chemical risk 

DEFENDING THE AIG LAWSUIT? - JOHN BERLAU

Huffington Post: Matt Taibbi Sort of Defends AIG Shareholders' Lawsuit - for Good Reason

 

In a rant headlined, "Hank Greenberg Should Be Shot into Space for Suing the Government over the AIG Bailout," Taibbi calls Maurice "Hank" Greenberg -- AIG's CEO from 1968 to 2005 and current CEO of the financial services company Starr International that is filing the shareholder lawsuit -- "maybe the biggest douchebag of all time." But then comes the real shocker. Taibbi puts forth a partial defense of the reviled lawsuit. "Here's the funny thing about the lawsuit filed against the government," he writes. "It isn't all wrong. In fact, parts of it are quite on the mark."

Why is Taibbi defending the seemingly indefensible? Because he knows the real recipients of the federal government's "rescue" of AIG were not its shareholders, but his loathed "vampire squid," Goldman Sachs, as well as some of the largest banks in America and the world that were counterparties with AIG on risky mortgage bets. 
> View the full commentary at Huffingtonpost.com


> Inteview John Berlau

 

EPA WINDSORGATE SCANDAL - CHRISTOPHER HORNER

Fox News:
Attorney Chris Horner on Departing EPA Chief Lisa Jackson’s Secret Email Accounts: ‘Only Foreseeable Outcome Would Be to Subvert the Law’

 

America Live updated a story surrounding last month’s resignation of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who is said to have used alias email accounts in her communications with outside groups.


Critics have said the practice may have been used as a way to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests. > Watch the interview


> Interview Christopher Horner


> See related:

BPA & CHEMICAL RISK - ANGELA LOGOMASINI

Openmarket.org: Dumb And Dumber BPA “Science”

Rationalizations to support claims that the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) poses a real and serious health threat have gone from dumb to dumber! Even reputable researchers make their case by regularly citing one inconclusive study to suggest another inconclusive study is meaningful. But science doesn’t work that way.

A recent example comes from one of the authors of
yet another study on BPA using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). It suggests that BPA levels could contribute to heart and kidney disease.

[But] Why and how could a study with findings that are “at best hypothesis generating” strengthen an “unconfirmed” finding of another study?
  > Read the full commentary on Openmarket.org

 

> Interview Angela Logomasini

 

 

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website, cei.org, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

Tuesday
Jan152013

CEI - EPA Email Release “Gravely Compounded Unlawful Activity We Have Exposed” 

CEI’s Chris Horner Says Agency Has ‘Gone Bunker’ Over Growing Richard Windsor Scandal

 

Washington, D.C., January 14, 2013 – At about 4:55 p.m. on Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency finally complied with a court order to deliver the first of four sets of emails in response to a lawsuit filed by Christopher Horner, a senior fellow in the Center for Energy and the Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Here is Horner’s statement on the emails:

Where in the World is Richard Windsor?

EPA’s Court-Ordered Email Production Proves Agency Has “Gone Bunker”

Just before 5 pm on this deadline date for producing records, I received a hand-delivered CD and cover letter from the EPA in response to CEI v. EPA, now best known as the “Richard Windsor” suit. The delivery came under order of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In short, this response is deeply troubling and seems to have gravely compounded the unlawful activity we have exposed involving a false identity assumed for federal recordkeeping purposes.

Problems begin with the cover letter, which states not the promised (to the court) first delivery of "approximately 3,000" but "more than 2,100 emails received or sent” by Jackson, on what EPA insists is her one non-public account.

“Waiter, the food was terrible, and the portions too small!”

First, 2,100 is two-thirds of the way to the agency’s commitment (possibly the agency also will determine two-thirds of 12,000 is sufficient, although we have our doubts). Perhaps seeking to take the air out of a growing scandal, EPA’s defective compilation boasts an impressively anemic content-to-volume ratio. It starts with Washington Post daily news briefs, then follows with Google alerts for “Lisa Jackson EPA” (none for “Richard Windsor”). Then EPA HQ national news clips. And so on. Rope a dope. Clever. Maybe too much so.

It seems EPA simply decided it had to produce a lot of something. Desperate to produce nothing at the same time, it came up with this. But in the details, the desperation shows through.

A big red flag in the cover letter is the claim that, “As you are aware” -- with no support for how we know this, which we do not -- “the Administrator uses one secondary official account to conduct EPA business,” then states these emails come from that one account.

In fact, the record is far more clear the Administrator likely has two such secondary or “alias” accounts: one as previous administrators have used, showing her name in the sent to/from box, and one that uses the false identity “Richard Windsor,” which neither Jackson nor EPA disputes is her account and which obviously does not reflect the administrator’s name.

At this time it is useful to remember EPA’s public statements earnestly but aggressively implied Windsor was just another secondary account. So EPA has some explaining to do.

So EPA is implying here – until a journalist or the court wrenches a straight answer to the question: Did you produce “Richard Windsor” emails? – that Jackson’s single alias account is the admitted-to, recently revealed “Richard Windsor.” After all, we know this alias account exists. EPA confirms it. So EPA’s implication in trying to waive away revelation of her alias account(s) – that she in fact does not have another EPA.gov account in her name, like all other administrators – is no longer operative.

Accepting this means the only EPA.gov email account Jackson used to correspond with EPA employees (including lawyers, presumably the EPA IG who has vowed to get to the bottom of this) was the false identity of “Richard Windsor.”

In that case, nearly everyone at EPA and throughout the ranks of senior Obama officials was in on the secret. Even though we know from sources and anecdotally this revelation came as a great surprise to Agency employees. Strike one.

Further, it means Jackson did not have an account she used to correspond outside of the Agency. Really. Meaning, either she did not correspond outside of EPA, or she used a private account.

No good answers or implications there. Yet EPA really wants to go there – as preferable, apparently, to just coming clean about Richard Windsor’s activities.

Staking out the position Jackson used only one secondary account signals the agency has gone bunker. Rather than search or produce from the Richard Windsor account, it is more likely the agency intends to in essence pretend it does not exist. Count as wasted that week EPA spent with all of the muttering to the contrary about its origin being a combination of her pet’s name and the town in which she once lived.

EPA would rather fight than snitch. Instructively, in EPA’s view, tempting Congress, the court and public opinion risks less fallout than revealing “Richard Windsor's” correspondence.

This is both deeply distressing and entirely consistent with its approach throughout. But then again, frankly, what did you expect from a gang caught using false identity for federal record-keeping purposes? To just say 'you caught me; now I'll come clean?'

* This conclusion no longer would be operative if EPA established that in fact Lisa Jackson did communicate internally exclusively using the Richard Windsor address, however implausible that is, and even though that would simply then beg the troubling questions noted above.

BACKGROUND of key points to remember:

a.) CEI sought emails from Lisa Jackson's secondary or "alias" email account(s) using one or more search terms: coal, climate, endanger, MACT

b) There is no record of any other senior official having ever created such an account using a false identity

c) EPA's own memo informing the National Archivist of having discovered these accounts stated they always show the administrator’s name

d) 3 exemplars we have obtained from elsewhere all show "Richard Windsor"

e) This presents EPA with a fork in the road: Burrow deeper into the bunker, and interpret that this request sought only the secondary account that shows Jackson’s name, or come clean and search her various non-public, alias accounts

f) Even given EPA’s public spin when the Windsor identity was revealed – that the Windsor account is just another secondary account, a continuation of a practice every administrator has employed since Carol Browner – now, despite this spin, EPA claims Jackson had just one such account

g) if indeed EPA is producing only non-Windsor email, it really has decided to declare war on this one, risking the obvious fallout and revealing it truly has much to hide.



> See also: cei.org/richard-windsor for a story timeline.

> To schedule an interview with Christopher Horner, please email: bmac@cei.org

 

 


CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website, cei.org, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.

Tuesday
Jan152013

CEI Today: new EPA e-document dump, cost of carbon tax, and Virginia's pension reforms 

EPA EMAIL SCANDAL, CEI FOIA REQUEST - CHRISTOPHER HORNER

At about 4:55 p.m. on Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency finally complied with a court order to deliver the first of four sets of emails in response to a lawsuit filed by Christopher Horner, a senior fellow in the Center for Energy and the Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

EPA owed CEI a cache of identified emails to or from EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (by pure coincidence, that’s now "outgoing Administrator Jackson”...), using one or more of four keywords: coal, climate, endanger/endangerment and/or MACT ("war on coal" emails).

Horner shared his initial analysis of the data dump here.

> Interview Christopher Horner


> View A Timeline of the EPA's "Richard Windsor" Email Scandal


> See also: EPA releases more than 2,100 emails from agency chief Lisa Jackson’s ‘alias’ account

 

CARBON TAX - MARLO LEWIS

Globalwarming.org
:
One Million Fewer Jobs Created by 2016 under ‘Modest’ Carbon Tax

 

Heritage Foundation economists David Kreutzer and Nicolas Loris have posted an assessment of the economic impacts of a carbon tax that starts out at $25 per ton and increases by 5% annually (after adjusting for inflation).

Here’s what they found. A ‘modest’ carbon tax, as described above, would:

  • Cut the income of a family of four by $1,900 per year in 2016 and lead to average losses of $1,400 per year through 2035;
  • Raise the family-of-four energy bill by more than $500 per year (not counting the cost of gasoline);
  • Cause gasoline prices to increase by up to $0.50 gallon, or by 10 percent on an average gallon price; and
  • Lead to an aggregate loss of more than 1 million jobs by 2016 alone. [click to continue…]

> Interview Marlo Lewis

 

PENSION REFORM - IVAN OSORIO

Openmarket.org: Worthwhile Pension Reform Proposal in the Old Dominion


The Speaker of the House of Delegates has proposed shifting state employees from defined benefit to defined contribution retirement plans, such as 401(k) accounts.

Government employee unions are their legislative allies are certain to fight such a change, and their opposition is bound to be fierce. But lawmakers who are serious about securing the Old Dominion’s fiscal future should not be deterred from pursuing far-reaching pension reform, which is a fight worth having.
  > View the full commentary at Openmarket.org

> Inteview Ivan Osorio

 

 

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website, cei.org, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.