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 Post subject: The EPA and FOIA
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:02 pm 
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I’d like to tell a little story. The case of Landmark Legal Foundation vs. the EPA. Landmark submitted a FOIA with the EPA on August 17th, 2012. They asked for records concerning communications that EPA officials had with outside third parties involving purposed regulations that hadn’t been finalized. The EPA responded and said could you please limit the scope of your FOIA this is an awful lot that you are asking for and we just don’t have that kind of time. Landmark said okay we will agree to limit the scope of our request to senior officials at EPA headquarters.

EPA of course was dragging their feet so Landmark Legal sued them on October 17th, 2012 asserting claims under the Freedom of Information Act. On November 30th, 2012 the EPA responded through an assistant U.S. Attorney of the District of Columbia representing them. Landmark sought expedited processing of their request. Landmark filed a motion for a preliminary injunction on December 12, 2012 to make sure the EPA didn’t destroy any records. The EPA did just that in a previous case and were held in contempt of court.

The government filed its opposition on December 19th, 2012. A hearing in federal court a judge decided no on the injunction, but he also said EPA need to provide documents to Landmark Legal Foundation beginning on January 31, 2013. Before the judge in court the EPA said it would complete its response to Landmark by said date.

Two weeks before this Landmark discussed with the court submitting a Joint Production Briefing Schedule. This is typical in these cases and the courts usually want this done to make things run smoothly. Its basically both sides sit down and work out what will be released on the date and so on and so forth. Landmark had agreed to the production dates. Landmark agreed to production date extensions to February 6th. Landmark agreed if the EPA wanted to claim confidentiality or privalige that EPA would provide a list of those documents. Not a Vaughn Index but something short of that.

Landmark then said we can forget about all of this and employ the KISS Principle. We want all documents specifically under the name of Richard Windsor. Richard Windsor is believed to be former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. The Richard Windsor Email account was set up to avoid FOIA requests in my opinion. Landmark was told on February 1st, 2013 that these document would not be included in the document request. Landmark countered with we want all documents relating to secret EPA email accounts. The American people have the right to know what business you are conducting in secret.

The assistant U.S. Attorney replied you’ll get what you have a right to. No more no less and we’ll see you in court. Landmark Legal Foundation said you bet were going to deal with this in court. First Landmark wanted all communications involving outside third parties. The EPA complained and Landmark agreed to just Senior officials. The EPA began stonewalling. Then they wanted one email account. The EPA said no. Then Landmark countered with all secret Email accounts and EPA said no.

Why was this FOIA request submitted? Landmark wanted the public to know who is influencing The EPA on all of this proposed regulation the EPA wants to impose. Is the EPA conducting secret talks with Congress? The White House? Environmental Groups? Alternative Energy lobby? Who is the EPA talking to in secret? The EPA resisted this week. This is not over. I suggest Landmark go for attorneys fees and every other penalty that applicable.

Just to make it clear. A the U.S. Attorney of the District of Columbia and the EPA are dragging their feet in complying with the law. Landmark Legal should put these people under oath and depose them. They have destroyed evidence in the past, and held in contempt, because the law matters not to these people. At the end of the Clinton Administration the EPA was cited for contempt by Judge Royce Lamberth. A large federal government agency is conducting business in secret. They are wilfully refusing to comply with the law, and concealing what they are doing from the American public. All in the name of the environmental cause. No wonder the majority of Americans don’t trust environmentalists.

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 Post subject: Re: The EPA and FOIA
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:50 am 
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Speaking of distrust:


http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?ti ... Foundation

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 Post subject: Re: The EPA and FOIA
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:26 am 
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Wayne what an extraordinaraly weak argument. The use of Source Watch here is indeed instructive. And that site you linked to was like a bad version of wikipedia. You toss out a bad site and expect to be taken seriously?

Quote:
SourceWatch is a propaganda site funded by an extreme left-wing, anti-capitalist and anti-corporate organization, the Center for Media and Democracy. Just like the untrustworthy Wikipedia the content can be written and edited by ordinary web users. Users who all conveniently share an extreme left-wing bias. SourceWatch is frequently cited by those seeking to smear individuals and organizations who do not share their extreme left-wing bias since they cannot find any legitimate criticisms from respected news sources.


The EPA is hiding its activities from the public. This is not the first time they have tried to do so. Landmark Legal is completely within its rights to file in any court in the land regarding this issue. This fact is indisputable. Refusing to comply with the law is refusing to comply with the law regardless of who is doing it. Hiding your activities from public view does not foster public trust. That is the main Achilles heal of the environmentalist movement. This fact is true here in the United States or in East Anglia. If you want to continue to support a big mistake please feel free. You understand that defending an organization who is not complying with the law is not in your best interest. The instant you attempt to defend lawlessness you are treading on a path that most don't wish to follow and you expose yourself for who and what you are. The Freedom of Information Act was passed by Congress, signed by the President and is the law of this land. So if you don't like that and wish to support the ability of government to conceal dealings from the American people step out into the light and change the law. Stand up and be counted for allowing the government conduct business in secret. Stand up for government acting in the best interest of the people or not because who knows the people can't tell what's going on. Stand up for allowing the government to conduct back room deals instead of the transparency we were promised. So as a classic leftist you argue to evade the law. To step around its bindings. To chip away at the Constitution. Nothing in written law binds you. Ideas from 200 years ago are irrelevant. We are the new modern thinkers. Really? How wonderful for you.

But until that happens the EPA is breaking the law described in the Freedom Of Information Act. And there is no legal or moral high ground from which to argue the contrary.

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Last edited by Milton Banana on Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:07 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The EPA and FOIA
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:01 am 
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I remember the EPA folding for the Bush Admin by increasing the amount of arsenic allowed in well water by double the original health standard and also letting coal fired power plants release more mercury than before. :x :-&
It is good there is some outfit the kind of opposite of the ACLU (who are all in felony violation of Title8USC1324iv). :x
Federal orgs like the Park Service and the EPA are run often by political appointees who will do as their boss says in secret, whether legal, or good, or not. :-$ Keeping their cushy high pay golden parachute jobs is all they really care about. :x
The EPA has done a lot of good in its history, :mrgreen: and trying to regulate CO2 was a good thing they were denied. Lying, using false named email accounts to do business, and destroying records is not the behavior of honest public servants. [-X

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 Post subject: Re: The EPA and FOIA
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:11 am 
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Johhny Electriglide wrote:
Lying, using false named email accounts to do business, and destroying records is not the behavior of honest public servants. [-X


Exactly my point. But, I can't wait to hear the impending defense offered by an exposed bunch of those who support lawlessness.

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 Post subject: Re: The EPA and FOIA
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:58 am 
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Milton Banana wrote:
Wayne what an extraordinaraly weak argument. The use of Source Watch here is indeed instructive. And that site you linked to was like a bad version of wikipedia. You toss out a bad site and expect to be taken seriously?


No more seriously than your source, which was the point. I believe you are presenting a double standard or a hypocritical position at best.

Quote:
SourceWatch is a propaganda site funded by an extreme left-wing, anti-capitalist and anti-corporate organization, the Center for Media and Democracy. Just like the untrustworthy Wikipedia the content can be written and edited by ordinary web users. Users who all conveniently share an extreme left-wing bias. SourceWatch is frequently cited by those seeking to smear individuals and organizations who do not share their extreme left-wing bias since they cannot find any legitimate criticisms from respected news sources.


Your source is from the polar opposite end of the presented spectrum, yet we are supposed to take it at face value for what reason? I know the FOIA attack often used by the conservative groups all too well. The deniers use it to attack the climate scientists by tying up resources and time. In fact, this organization shares funding sources for those denier groups.

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The EPA is hiding its activities from the public. This is not the first time they have tried to do so. Landmark Legal is completely within its rights to file in any court in the land regarding this issue. This fact is indisputable. Refusing to comply with the law is refusing to comply with the law regardless of who is doing it. Hiding your activities from public view does not foster public trust. That is the main Achilles heal of the environmentalist movement. This fact is true here in the United States or in East Anglia. If you want to continue to support a big mistake please feel free. You understand that defending an organization who is not complying with the law is not in your best interest. The instant you attempt to defend lawlessness you are treading on a path that most don't wish to follow and you expose yourself for who and what you are. The Freedom of Information Act was passed by Congress, signed by the President and is the law of this land. So if you don't like that and wish to support the ability of government to conceal dealings from the American people step out into the light and change the law. Stand up and be counted for allowing the government conduct business in secret. Stand up for government acting in the best interest of the people or not because who knows the people can't tell what's going on. Stand up for allowing the government to conduct back room deals instead of the transparency we were promised. So as a classic leftist you argue to evade the law. To step around its bindings. To chip away at the Constitution. Nothing in written law binds you. Ideas from 200 years ago are irrelevant. We are the new modern thinkers. Really? How wonderful for you.


The law is often misused by those with an agenda and money to hire teams of attorneys to find ways to do so. To try to cloak such actions in patriotism is an affront to the term.

Quote:
But until that happens the EPA is breaking the law described in the Freedom Of Information Act. And there is no legal or moral high ground from which to argue the contrary.


Of course there is. Opposing a misuse of the law has a moral high ground all of its own. Unless you believe Rosa Parks had no such moral high ground.

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 Post subject: Re: The EPA and FOIA
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:04 am 
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Johhny Electriglide wrote:
I remember the EPA folding for the Bush Admin by increasing the amount of arsenic allowed in well water by double the original health standard and also letting coal fired power plants release more mercury than before. :x :-&
It is good there is some outfit the kind of opposite of the ACLU (who are all in felony violation of Title8USC1324iv). :x
Federal orgs like the Park Service and the EPA are run often by political appointees who will do as their boss says in secret, whether legal, or good, or not. :-$ Keeping their cushy high pay golden parachute jobs is all they really care about. :x
The EPA has done a lot of good in its history, :mrgreen: and trying to regulate CO2 was a good thing they were denied. Lying, using false named email accounts to do business, and destroying records is not the behavior of honest public servants. [-X


You do realize the information you are choosing to believe comes from the very people who are opposing the regulation of arsenic in water all together, opposing the regulation of power plants, and of CO2. In fact their goal is to remove the EPA, but in the interim they will use what ever means to impede the actions the EPA might take.

Do you believe PETA and Sea Shepard when they make similar claims against agencies they oppose?

Sure you do .....

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 Post subject: Re: The EPA and FOIA
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:09 am 
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Wayne Stollings wrote:
Johhny Electriglide wrote:
I remember the EPA folding for the Bush Admin by increasing the amount of arsenic allowed in well water by double the original health standard and also letting coal fired power plants release more mercury than before. :x :-&
It is good there is some outfit the kind of opposite of the ACLU (who are all in felony violation of Title8USC1324iv). :x
Federal orgs like the Park Service and the EPA are run often by political appointees who will do as their boss says in secret, whether legal, or good, or not. :-$ Keeping their cushy high pay golden parachute jobs is all they really care about. :x
The EPA has done a lot of good in its history, :mrgreen: and trying to regulate CO2 was a good thing they were denied. Lying, using false named email accounts to do business, and destroying records is not the behavior of honest public servants. [-X


You do realize the information you are choosing to believe comes from the very people who are opposing the regulation of arsenic in water all together, opposing the regulation of power plants, and of CO2. In fact their goal is to remove the EPA, but in the interim they will use what ever means to impede the actions the EPA might take.

Hell, they wanted to nominate Rush Limbaugh, who is on their board, for a Nobel Prize if that does not tell us anything.


Do you believe PETA and Sea Shepard when they make similar claims against agencies they oppose?

Sure you do .....

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 Post subject: Re: The EPA and FOIA
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:23 am 
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http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/l ... foundation

Landmark Legal Foundation (LLF) initiates litigation against major non-profit, governmental, and social institutions.

LLF focuses primarily on education and environmental litigation, in an attempt to dismantle institutions that preserve universal public schooling and that promote and fight for a clean environment.

http://www.nndb.com/org/660/000051507/

Conservative legal group, founded in 1976.

Publicly nominated Rush Limbaugh for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize (which was ultimately awarded to Al Gore).

http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=79

Landmark Legal Foundation has received $70,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998.

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 Post subject: Re: The EPA and FOIA
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:25 am 
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The opposition of all climate regulation by the US EPA.

http://blogs.law.columbia.edu/climatech ... itigation/

However, DC Circuit internal procedural rules hold that even after a case is consolidated individual litigants still maintain the ability to file separate motions,[4] and petitioners have taken advantage of this. On September 15, 2010, three different coalitions of petitioners filed motions to stay all or part of EPA’s climate regulations. One such motion was filed by Texas, and was analyzed previously by this blog. A second was filed by a coalition of interest groups led by CRR, SLF, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Landmark Legal Foundation, and the Ohio Coal Association, and also requests a stay of all EPA action. Finally, a group of trade associations led by the National Association of Manufacturers asks only to stay the Timing and Tailoring rules, and the Endangerment Finding as it could be applied to stationary sources. This group does not request a stay of the core of the Endangering Finding or the Tailpipe Rule.

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 Post subject: Re: The EPA and FOIA
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:26 am 
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http://dailycaller.com/2012/10/25/conse ... z2K7ZOXMo2

Levin’s law firm, the Landmark Legal Foundation, filed the lawsuit in federal court this week, seeking a court order directing the EPA to preserve and produce all records related to the agency’s regulatory plans after the presidential election.

The suit argues that news stories and political observers have indicated the EPA is “intentionally delaying the issuance of controversial new regulations until after the November election” with the possibility that “a) the Obama Administration is improperly politicizing EPA activities; b) EPA officials are attempting to shield their true policy goals from the public; and/or c) EPA officials themselves are putting partisan interests above the public welfare.”

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 Post subject: Re: The EPA and FOIA
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:51 am 
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Like it or not Landmark Legal has standing in federal court on the issues discussed here. You do understand the concept of "standing" in court? You do understand that a federal court judge is the ultimate arbiter in these cases regardless of Landmarks political leanings so I'm not certain what the point is of your last few posts. The EPA and the government does not want to comply with the law. Pure and simple. Officials at the EPA are trying to hide what they are doing from the view of the public about regulations that will effect everyone. Landmark Legal asked for ultimately one email account. If Landmark asked for my email account it would take 30 seconds for me to give it to them. So their request is completely reasonable. So, in response to a completely reasonable FOIA request the EPA is resisting complying with the law.

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 Post subject: Re: The EPA and FOIA
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:15 pm 
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Milton Banana wrote:
Like it or not Landmark Legal has standing in federal court on the issues discussed here. You do understand the concept of "standing" in court? You do understand that a federal court judge is the ultimate arbiter in these cases regardless of Landmarks political leanings so I'm not certain what the point is of your last few posts. The EPA and the government does not want to comply with the law. Pure and simple. Officials at the EPA are trying to hide what they are doing from the view of the public about regulations that will effect everyone. Landmark Legal asked for ultimately one email account. If Landmark asked for my email account it would take 30 seconds for me to give it to them. So their request is completely reasonable. So, in response to a completely reasonable FOIA request the EPA is resisting complying with the law.


I understand standing. Do you understand abusing the legal system to further political goals? The LLF initially demanded an expedited FIOA for all non-public comment discussions of yet to be finalized regulations over a several month period that was clearly impossible to meet based on nothing more than a political rumor. That "small fact" seems to be lost in the "story" you are telling now that it supposedly asked for one account.

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 Post subject: Re: The EPA and FOIA
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:30 pm 
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From the actual document not an interpretation:

http://www.landmarklegal.org/uploads/Co ... _Filed.pdf

10. Accordingly, on August 17, 2012, plaintiff requested records relating to all proposed rules or regulations that have not been finalized by the EPA between January 1, 2012 and August 17, 2012, not including public comments or other records available on the rulemaking docket.

In legal documents accuracy is key and this clearly states they want ALL records relating to ALL proposed rules or regualtions that have not been finalized between 1/12012 and 8/17/2012 and which are not available on the docket. The use of ALL does not limit the request to any group within the agency but would include ALL employees in ALL locations that may discuss or have information on ANY rule or regulation which has not ben finalized. Had they intended to limit the scope to only the certain management positions those positions would have been clearly listed. I know for a fact that I had communitcation with several EPA employees on proposed regulations during this time period which have yet to be finalized. Some were part of the public comment and some were not.

They were also denied the request and the appeal for the response to be expedited.

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 Post subject: Re: The EPA and FOIA
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:43 pm 
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I've already explained in the OP that Landmark agreed to narrow its focus from its first request. And, ultimately asked for one email account. A very reasonable request. I was promised a transparent government. Clearly some here don't have a problem with government skirting, stretching, or breaking law under the cover of secrecy.

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