The Trump administration is trying to rewrite the rules on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in order to keep pollution and corruption hidden from the public.
The key is what’s called a “no records” response, which allows political appointees like Andrew Wheeler and David Bernhardt to decide what information is released to the public.
Fortunately, a bipartisan group of senators has introduced the Open and Responsive Government Act of 2019 to safeguard FOIA requests and ensure the public’s right to information. Will you sign now to become a grassroots co-sponsor?
Everyone knows that Trump has packed his administration with climate deniers and fossil fuel lobbyists. But the only reason we know about his plans to hand over public lands to frackers, or roll back the Endangered Species Act, or purged climate science from public websites and fired the scientists responsible is because of FOIA requests by environmental groups and journalists.
You might remember that FOIA requests played a significant role in the downfall of former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt — bringing to light his sweetheart condo deal, his love of first class travel, his use of body guards to buy him expensive hand lotion, and more.
Trump and his cronies obviously want to get id of FOIA so they can lie, steal and pollute without anyone knowing the truth. But now the Supreme Court, with two new Trump justices installed for life, has overturned more than 40 years of FOIA precedent in ruling in favor of corporate secrecy over the public’s right to know.
Since that Supreme Court decision, it’s been a race to the bottom for Trump’s cabinet. Following on the heels of a terrible EPA proposal to hide science from public view, the Department of Interior has reportedly consulted with the FBI on how to investigate investigative reporters and restrict our right to information to an arbitrary page count.