FOIA Request Submitted to EPA on Senate Climate Bill

Washington, DC – Following numerous press reports that SenatorsJohn Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)submitted their climate change legislation to the Environmental ProtectionAgency (EPA) for analysis, the American Energy Alliance filed a Freedom ofInformation Act (FOIA) request with the EPA to obtain a copy of thelegislation.

“The American people have the right to know what’s in thisbill,” said Thomas J. Pyle, president of AEA, a market-based energy advocacy organization. “While Senators Graham,Kerry and Lieberman have been meeting behind closed doors with the utilityindustry, big business, environmental groups and big oil, the American consumerhas been shut out of the process.  Not surprisingly, it is the Americanconsumer that will foot the bill when thislegislation forces gasoline,diesel and utility bills to increase.”

Senators Kerry, Graham and Lieberman have worked for nearly sixand a half months to craft legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions andincrease the price of coal, oil, and natural gas – 85 percent of our energysupply. While the specificcontents of this legislation seemto be top secret, we do know that for any energy rationing scheme to work, it will lead toconsiderably higher energy costs for American families and businesses.

“We filed this request on behalf of the American people,”continued Pyle.  “Since Senators Graham, Kerry and Lieberman have refusedto share this job-killing legislation with the public, maybe the “most open andtransparent” administration in history will honor our request. After all, whatdo they have to hide?”

Following is an excerpt of the FOIA request:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, Ihereby request a copy of any and all energy legislation from Senator Kerry, orSenator Graham, or Senator Lieberman, or all three collectively, sent to EPA tobe analyzed or modeled within the past month. This includes requests fromstaffers working for Senators Kerry, Graham, or Lieberman. Colloquially, thisdraft legislation is known as the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman climate bill andvarious media sources (including the Washington Post, L.A. Times and Politico)have reported draft legislation has been sent to EPA to be modeled.

As President Obama has emphasized, “a democracy requiresaccountability, and accountability requires transparency,” and “the Freedom ofInformation Act . . . is the most prominent expression of a profound nationalcommitment to ensuring open Government.” Accordingly, the President hasdirected that FOIA “be administered with a clear presumption: In the face ofdoubt, openness prevails” and that a “presumption of disclosure should beapplied to all decisions involving FOIA.”

To view the entire FOIA request, click HERE.

Updated 4/30/10: AEA submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration (EIA) in addition to the EPA FOIA request.



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