Government transparency group Energy Policy Advocates (EPA) filed suit on Thursday against the Biden White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy’s refusal to produce correspondence pertaining to one of an increasing number of initiatives to combat opposition to the administration’s political agenda as “disinformation.”
Specifically, EPA argued:
“The request sought certain described correspondence of two named officials, Eric Lander and Jane Lubchenco, over an eight-week period of time, on any email account used at any time for work-related correspondence, that was sent to one or more of six or five named outside parties, respectively. This request pertained to an OSTP “event on countering climate change denial and delay” in which the Office brought in political activists to discuss, e.g., social science which might explain political opposition to their demands. See, e.g., Maxine Joselow, “White House schedules first event on countering climate change denial and delay,” Washington Post, February 24, 2022. …
The requested records will inform the public of high-profile ethics revelations at OSTP and media coverage thereof, and also the genesis of a tendentious event and campaign out of OSTP. The described meeting seeking to counter political opposition, one of many Biden administration initiatives seeking to do so by styling opposition as “disinformation” (“deliberate disinformation campaigns that are as insidious as they are invidious”, https://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/news-updates/2022/02/25/readout-of-white-house-climate-science-roundtable-on-countering-delayism-and-communicating-the-urgency-of-climate-action/), was the subject of substantial national and international media coverage.
The public deserves to know, without further delay, the genesis of the aforementioned tendentious effort.”
EPA’s complaint also noted that the group sought the described emails with outside activists on any email account, citing:
“in this request that one of the two officials, Ms. Lubchenco, had been shown during a prior stint as a political appointee in a different agency during a previous administration to have continued to use her previous employer’s “.edu” email account for official federal work-related correspondence, and also detailed Defendant’s own history, during that same administration, of employees having been found to engage in the practice of using non-official email accounts for work-related correspondence.”