Monday, July 22, 2013

AG Tom Horne and AZ state government: Do as we say, not as we do

But at least they're consistent about it - no matter what their angle of attack, they are always looking to protect well-connected and deep-pocketed corporate interests to the detriment of public interests.

Last week, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne (R-Disbarment waiting to happen) joined a group of red state AGs in a lawsuit against the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Among other things, they are demanding that the EPA release some emails and other documents to them.

From the Chicago Sun-Times, written by Tim Talley (emphasis added) -
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and the attorneys general of 11 other states sued the Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday demanding that the agency turn over documents the states allege will show a pattern of cooperation and collaboration with environmental organizations.


The states’ lawsuit seeks to enforce federal Freedom of Information Act guidelines involving the states’ request for letters, emails and any other correspondence between the EPA and environmental organizations before they sue the agency. The attorney generals want to analyze the documents to determine the nature of EPA’s legal strategy concerning environmental groups.

In one instance, the lawsuit says the states made a FOIA request to EPA in February seeking records about the agency’s negotiations with environmental groups that led to binding consent decrees concerning state implementation plans for the EPA’s regional haze guidelines under the Clean Air Act.

Horne has even taken to bragging about it on the AZAG's official Twitter account -

 Sounds, well, not "good" (at least, not if you like breathing), but at least "straightforward".

Straightforward, that is, until you hear about the story broken by John Dougherty of InvestigativeMEDIA (emphasis added).

From the story - 
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is refusing to release more than a dozen emails with the governor’s office concerning the issuance of the air pollution permit for the proposed Rosemont copper mine.

Most of the withheld emails are between Kevin Kinsall, Gov. Jan Brewer’s policy advisor for natural resources, and Eric Massey, director of the ADEQ’s Air Quality Division. Kinsall and Massey exchanged a dozen emails between last Aug. 1- 8, 2012, during a crucial period when the state took control of Rosemont’s air pollution permit from Pima County.

The ADEQ announced last Aug. 3 that it was asserting authority over the review and issuance of Rosemont Copper Company’s application for the pollution permit for its massive open pit copper mine planned for the Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson. ADEQ stated it was assuming oversight of the permit to “ensure regulatory certainty and enhanced environmental protection.”

So, let me get this straight -

Tom Horne is suing the federal EPA to force the release of emails and other records while (apparently) turning a blind eye to the state's version of the EPA and its non-release of emails and other documents?

How long will it take for this to become the symbol of the Arizona Attorney General's Office?

Pic courtesy

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