A recently released Senate report detailing the Environmental Protection Agency’s abuses of the Freedom of Information Act has ties to Colorado. The report was published by Republican members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. The report was a scathing indictment of the EPA practices:
“As Congress has raised questions about EPA’s lack of transparency, the agency has steadfastly ignored its constitutional obligation to subject itself to congressional oversight, apparently in an effort to prevent the public from knowing what is going on behind closed doors.”
According to excerpts published by the Washington Examiner, the abuses even touched Colorado’s Governor’s mansion. Most troubling is the use of aliases to purposely avoid sunlight on the EPA’s activities, particularly by James Martin, former Region 8 Administrator for the EPA. Here are the excerpts:
“Despite the agency’s policy and multiple statements denying the truth, the committee has discovered that former Region 8 Administrator James Martin regularly used a non-official e-mail account to correspond with individuals and groups outside of EPA, regarding agency business.”
“For example, Martin regularly communicated with Vickie Patton, general counsel of the Environmental Defense Fund, about agency priorities on a private account.”
“On multiple occasions, Martin also corresponded with Alan Salazar, chief strategy officer for Governor [John] Hickenlooper, and staff of the Colorado Conservation League, as well as others.” [Peak emphasis]
Click here to read the report in its entirety. The parts about Martin, Hickenlooper and Colorado Conservation League appear on pages 11 and 12.
Oddly, Martin resigned earlier this year, as the Peak reported, due to so-called “personal reasons”, which Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter promptly refuted. As we noted earlier this year:
“According to a source, Martin has close ties with Governor John Hickenlooper, Bill Ritter, and U.S. Senator Mark Udall, which has been confirmed via his campaign donations. In 2008, Martin donated $1,000 to Udall’s Senate campaign. He gave the same amount to President Obama’s 2012 campaign. He also gave $250 to Perlmutter’s campaign in 2006.”
So much for the most transparent administration in history.