WASHINGTON, D.C.— Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, this week again called on the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to answer for leaking approximately 80,000 farmers and ranchers’ personal data to left-wing environmental groups. Thune joined a bipartisan group of senators in a letter to the EPA requesting answers on the leaked data. Thune first sent a letter in April objecting to the release of this sensitive information and questioning whether the agency had violated the Privacy Act.
“The EPA’s disclosure of personal information is not the first time sensitive data has been leaked to outside organizations under the Obama administration,” said Thune. “Last month, we learned that the Internal Revenue Service provided confidential taxpayer information to the left-leaning group ProPublica. These leaks provide further evidence of the growing credibility gap between the Obama administration and the American public. This troubling pattern of unauthorized release of government-obtained personal information is unacceptable political intimidation. Americans deserve transparency and accountability.”
The EPA has admitted the leak. However, the EPA has yet to respond to the issues raised in Thune’s first letter, which was sent eight weeks ago.
Additionally, Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment to the 2013 Farm Bill (S.Amdt. 970) that would have prohibited EPA from disclosing sensitive livestock producer information in the future.
Last month, Thune spoke about the EPA leaks and the growing White House credibility gap. The video can be viewed here.