WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House Science Committee issued a subpoena Wednesday to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy seeking her text messages and other electronic communications.
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said he was left with no alternative but to issue the subpoena after the EPA refused to provide complete records in response to the committee's repeated requests for all emails and text messages sent by McCarthy and other top officials.
"The EPA's pattern of withholding, concealing and possibly destroying records must come to an end," Smith said in a statement. "The American people deserve an open and honest government."
Smith's committee has been seeking McCarthy's emails and text messages for months. While McCarthy sent nearly 6,000 text messages over the past several years, he said, only one was turned over to the committee as related to EPA business.
The text, from the president of the League of Conservation Voters, Gene Karpinski, praised McCarthy's comments questioning the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline.
"Great job on the EPA comments on keystone. I feel like the end is very near," Karpinski wrote. McCarthy answered that Karpinski should communicate with her by email.
EPA spokeswoman Liz Purchia said the agency has been working with the committee and "will to continue to be responsive to their requests" for information.