The Environmental Protection Agency has told its staff not to answer questions from the agency's internal watchdog, news reporters or the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, according an internal memo that an environmental group released Monday.
The June 16 memo to the staff of the EPA's enforcement division told them that if they're contacted by the EPA inspector general's office, an independent internal watchdog that monitors the agency, or by the Government Accountability Office, the investigators who work for Congress, they're to forward the call or e-mail to a designated person.
"Please do not respond to questions or make any statements," it adds. The memo sets down the same procedure, with different contact people, for queries from reporters. […]
The memo appeared as the Senate Environment and Judiciary committees are trying to get EPA to release information about its global warming policies, and after EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson declined to testify this week before the two committees.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said last week that he was instructing the EPA inspector general's office to investigate whether there was any wrongdoing in failing to cooperate with Congress.
I'm not mad, I'm proud of you. You took your first pinch like a man and you learn two great things in your life. Look at me, never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.Jimmy Conway, "Goodfellas"
The irony is, of course, that the EPA was created by Richard Nixon, but back then it was legit.