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From Government Accountability & Oversight

WEBEDITOR

Biden Treasury Dept. Tried to Hide Emails with Bloomberg NEF Official Pushing Climate Agenda With Claim That Correspondence Was Intra-governmental; is Bloomberg NEF Serving as Consultants to Biden Admin on ‘climate’?

Courtesy of government-transparency group Energy Policy Advocates (EPA), the following was obtained in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation. It represents a curious sequence. First, note a particular, heavily redacted email:

Who is this Biden Treasury official, Ethan Zindler, whose email address Treasury also felt compelled to shield, EPA asked? Well, he’s, um, not:

As the email address no doubt shows; which Treasury no doubt knows as it also very deliberately redacted said email address. For which there is no apparent compelling reason, though it’s a nice tell that they decided to hide it too. Buried in a big doc production, maybe no one will notice.

b5 protects “inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters” from release and, under certain circumstances, correspondence with outside consultants. Hmm.

So, what’s with the redaction as “b5” deliberative process of a discussion between a senior, actual Treasury official and a Bloomberg New Energy Finance rep? “The Company helps corporate strategy, finance and policy professionals navigate, change, and generate opportunities.”

EPA asked just that. Treasury came back with this, upon reconsideration:

Here we see Bloomberg New Energy Finance explaining to a senior Treasury appointee how she should do her job, specifically by somewhat feverishly laying out the full-monty of a “whole of government approach” to jamming into place this death-blow of a policy agenda to reliable energy despite/because Congress never approved it.  Following up on their Zoom conversation.

Inherently, none of the hidden lobbying was eligible to be declared b5…as Treasury knew, having redacted the Bloomberg guy’s non-gov address. It’s just, eh, this is embarrassing let’s call it deliberative. Unless Bloomberg NEF is a Biden admin consultant on their shared climate agenda (or the admin thought they’d try it anyway to shield this).

And in unredacting it, Treasury then withheld some as b6, instead. FOIA’s b6 exemption protects information about individuals in “personnel and medical files and similar files” when the disclosure of such information “would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy”. Ah. Except the first release, which was redacted almost in full but, again, solely as b5 “deliberative” correspondence, had no mention of such information being withheld out of necessity (just as there is no reason to conclude, from the context but now also the history of this document, the document contained is b6 information). It must be really bad?

Regardless, is Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which so breathlessly touts — as an expert outlet, a “strategic research provider” — the same agenda pushed by the Biden administration — a Treasury Department consultant?

via Watts Up With That?

April 19, 2022