WildEarth Guardians Among Top Freedom of Information Advocates in Nation

November 10, 2018

In case you missed it, last week the Freedom of Information Act Project released a report detailing how lawsuits enforcing our nation’s bedrock transparency law have more than doubled under the Trump Administration.

The report details how suits filed by nonprofits and advocacy groups under the Freedom of Information Act have soared to above 500, an unprecedented level of transparency litigation.

It’s not surprising given the Trump Administration’s ongoing assault on public transparency and accountability. As we’ve written about before, agencies like the U.S. Department of the Interior are refusing to comply with the Freedom of Information Act and even pushing to roll back the law.

What was surprising, however, is that WildEarth Guardians is among the top transparency litigators in the nation. According to the latest report, Guardians is is the number five filer of Freedom of Information Act lawsuits, just behind the American Civil Liberties Union.

It’s an honorable distinction and one that we’ve worked hard to accomplish. Since Trump took office, we’ve made transparency and enforcing the Freedom of Information Act a top priority.

Within our Climate and Energy Program, we’ve filed hundreds of Freedom of Information Act requests and received millions of pages of information that would otherwise be withheld form the public. Not only that, but we’ve posted every single one of our Freedom of Information Act requests and every responsive record to our online “FOIA Repository,” which you can access by clicking here >>

Our advocacy under the Freedom of Information Act has sought to secure all manner of records, including the communication records of Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, records related to the sale of public lands for fracking, and records related to the Interior Department’s efforts to roll back environmental safeguards for coal mining.

Sadly, rather than be responsive and transparent, the Administration is instead stonewalling. Hence our prolific litigation.

Rest assured, we intend to keep up the pace. As the fossil fuel industry and their cronies in the Trump Administration push to sideline the American public, subvert climate science, and silence dissent, enforcing transparency is critical.

A huge thanks to the Freedom of Information Act Project for their great work in tracking advocacy under the Freedom of Information Act! Together, we’re shining a much-needed spotlight on the Trump Administration’s lack of transparency and confronting their attacks on our democracy.

Jeremy Nichols

About the Author

Jeremy Nichols | Climate and Energy Program Director, WildEarth Guardians

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