Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Department of Energy FOIA Requests

Do you know what your Department of Energy is up to these days? You should if you desire to stay informed at this peculiar time in history where our dependence on fossil fuels is so directly tied to our economic security. There's a lot of good intentions out there floating around in the form of stimulus funds geared towards Energy Independence and Clean Tech. But, what are the people who we have entrusted to safe guard our energy interests actually doing?

Find out yourself by filing a FOIA request. If you are a US Citizen, you have a right to access federal agency records such as those at DOE within 20 days of receipt of your request. Here's a link to the DOE FOIA webpage.

I'm a little troubled that a recent FOIA request to learn the list of applicants for some DOE advanced vehicle funds was turned down due to exemption #5 which clearly does not apply. But maybe you will have more luck.

What harm could be brought by simply learning who has applied for stimulus funds? No need to examine the applications themselves which contain possibly proprietary information. But a simple list of who applied doesn't hurt any entity--public or private. Maybe you see it differently...as is your choice.

Here's another hopefully unrelated database: http://www.opensecrets.org/

Now that you know you have all of this power over interesting information, I invite you to make up your own conspiracy theories. Have fun, kids!

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