Why Does Apple Want Lisa Jackson and Her Ethical Cloud?

Apple’s hiring of former EPA AdministratorLisa Jackson last week gives her a soft landing place, after she fled her cabinet role spurred by a flurry of evasions and deceits over alias email accounts she and her underlings used to hide correspondence from the public. Her would-be successor, Gina McCarthy, seeks to be confirmed under the same cloud.

It’s unclear why Apple would want or need Jackson, as its (faux) environmentalist credibility is already well established, and the Mac maker already boasts the top figurehead of eco-figureheads on its board of directors, Al Gore.

That’s not to say the evasive, deceptive Jackson isn’t a fit for Apple, a company with a reputation for falsely claiming “green”-friendly policies when the truth shows otherwise. Also like Jackson, the Cupertino, Calif. clan isn’t shy about piling on sky-high costs for the massive amounts of electricity it needs for services like iCloud and iTunes, which rather than being incorporated into the costs of its offerings, instead are shifted onto other unsuspecting power customers. That’s a concept that Jackson, who never met a punish-the-fossil-fuels scheme she didn’t absolutely love, can easily embrace.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Chris Horner caught the departing EPA administrator using an email address with an alternative identity, “Richard Windsor,” to cloak correspondence she wanted shielded from public scrutiny. Horner discovered the concealed account in November last year, and within a month and a half Jackson had announced her resignation. Despite a number of Freedom of Information Act requests that sought “Windsor’s” messages and those of other top EPA officials with alternative identities, the agency has delayed responses and the delivery of records repeatedly, prompting CEI to file appeals and lawsuits.

Once Horner pried loose documents – said to total 12,000 pages, according to the Department of Justice (much less was actually produced) – they were heavily redacted, despite a court order that permitted only “legitimate withholdings.” Also blacked out were messages CEI sought that had to do with McCarthy’s role in the Obama administration’s “War on Coal,” which was largely under her authority as Jackson’s Assistant Administrator for Air.

Read more at the National Legal and Policy Center. By Paul Chesser.

Photo credit: niallkennedy (Creative Commons)

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