The nominee to head the EPA’s air quality office Janet McCabe has at least one attribute that would make her a great culture fit for the agency – a record of non-transparency. Her resume thus far at the EPA includes a secret email address used to collude with environmental activists and the crafting of major environmental regulations with no supporting public data – two traits pervasive at the agency.

Like disgraced former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, and many other top EPA officials, McCabe maintained a secret email address that she used to collude with environmental activist groups. Hers – “” – stems from her former job as director of the environmental activist group Improving Kids’ Environment. Emails uncovered by Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests reveal that Janice Nolen from the American Lung Association sent McCabe an email on this address with the subject “Burning Marshes to address oil.” Current EPA administrator Gina McCarthy replied to Nolen’s email saying, “Thanks Janice. We’re on it!”

“That is where her fellow travelers in the Big Green industry knew to reach her, and apparently how she wanted them to continue to be able to reach her,” said Chris Horner, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who helped uncover these secret emails. “And by which she could reach them, all presumably outside of the prying eyes of the laws forbidding that they do so.”

McCabe also has an impressive record, in her current role at the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, of helping craft major environmental regulations that rely on non-public data that the EPA refuses to share with Congress. Such non-public information was used as the basis for 85 percent of Clean Air Act regulations from 1990 to 2020, costing the economy $2 trillion.

Though McCabe’s shady history of non-transparency may hurt her in the confirmation process, if confirmed, it will make her a perfect fit within the agency.