9 month waiting game for State Department FOIA request

9 month waiting game for State Department FOIA request
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In July, I wrote a piece about a major US climate report being stealthily released on a Friday afternoon by the State Department. You can find the report here, it was quite a scathing admission by the US government that very little was being done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that they had very little planned to deal with it down the road.

I was not surprised that the report was released on a Friday afternoon, in the dog days of summer, without a mention in the State Department’s daily press briefing – it’s a common PR tactic when you have to release bad news.

To get to the bottom of the communications strategy behind the report’s release, I submitted a FOIA request to the State Department asking for all communications materials leading up the release.

The word I got back today? The request will be processed in the next nine months!

My wife and I can make a baby in less time – it takes the US government longer to fill a simple FOIA request, than it does for me to create life!

So in other words, I will most likely have the materials I requested by July, 2009. But I’m not holding my breath, I’ve talked to reporters who have waited much longer than that.

In an April, 2005 address to the American Society of Newspaper Editor’s, President Bush stated that “… [he] thinks that FOIA requests ought to be dealt with as expeditiously as possible.”

Yah, about as expeditious as his plan to reduce greenhouse gas has been.

So in other words, I will most likely have the materials I requested by July, 2009. But I’m not holding my breath, I’ve talked to reporters who have waited much longer than that.

In an April, 2005 address to the American Society of Newspaper Editor’s, President Bush stated that “… [he] thinks that FOIA requests ought to be dealt with as expeditiously as possible.”

Yah, about as expeditious as his plan to reduce greenhouse gas has been.

9 month waiting game for State Department FOIA request

Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog.

He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.

Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks.

Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.

Prior to DeSmogBlog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health.

In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications.

Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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