John Kerry’s office redacted every staffer name in FOIAed correspondence

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The office of Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry redacted each of the names and emails of their staffers in emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Fox News Digital obtained the documents from government watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT), which revealed the correspondence between Kerry’s office and several recipients, including nearly 20 climate change groups.

PPT was only able to obtain the documents after suing Kerry’s office over unfulfilled FOIA requests. However, the emails have every staffer’s name and email redacted.

JOHN KERRY’S CLIMATE OFFICE RIFE WITH TIES TO FAR-LEFT GREEN GROUPS

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry's office has been secretive in its operations.

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry’s office has been secretive in its operations.
(Getty)

“It hardly seems in the public interest, in fact it appears the antithesis of serving the public interest, to hide the names of government officials who are communicating with controversial outside activist organizations that are attempting to influence government policy,” PPT director Michael Chamberlain told Fox News Digital.

“The State Department’s attempts to keep from the public the names of every one of their employees involved in these communications stands in stark contrast to the attorney general’s declaration that ‘transparency in government operations is a priority of this administration,'” Chamberlain continued.

“State’s attempts to conceal the identities of the officials participating in these conversations was so excessive they first attempted to conceal the name of the person whose documents we requested in the first place,” he added.

According to the documents, the redactions were made under the FOIA exemption (b)(6) for “personal privacy information.”

Some redactions only cover the name of the employee while keeping his or her State Department email uncovered. Other redactions cover both the name and email, making it unclear if some of the redacted emails are official State Department emails.

Kerry's office redacted the names and emails of all employees in a Freedom of Information Act request, which government watchdog Protect the Public's Trust had to sue the office over.

Kerry’s office redacted the names and emails of all employees in a Freedom of Information Act request, which government watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust had to sue the office over.
(Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The FOIA redactions occur on every email, even for rather innocuous subjects.

One such subject was an email from March 14, 2022, regarding a “finance pizza party” where the sender requested suggestions for a date to have the feast at his or her house. Both the sender’s and the recipients’ names and emails were redacted.

It is unclear why Kerry’s office is redacting the names and emails of the federal employees he oversees, who are all paid with taxpayer dollars.

A State Department spokesperson directed Fox News Digital to the agency’s “Requester Service Center” but didn’t address questions about the emails.

The FOIA redactions only raise more questions than answers and could hint at controversial hires in the office — a pre-eminent feature across the Biden administration.

FOIAed email from the office of U.S. climate envoy John Kerry about a "finance pizza party" with both the sender's and recipients' names and emails redacted. (Screenshot of documents received courtesy of Protect the Public's Trust)

FOIAed email from the office of U.S. climate envoy John Kerry about a “finance pizza party” with both the sender’s and recipients’ names and emails redacted. (Screenshot of documents received courtesy of Protect the Public’s Trust)
(Fox News Digital)

Kerry’s office has been rife with hires from the green energy industry, including officials who have previously held high-ranking positions at various global green energy institutions.

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The office scooped up individuals who have had past leadership positions at groups like the United Nations Foundation, World Resources Institute, International Monetary Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council and several other major global or green organizations, according to a Fox News Digital review. The organizations have largely characterized global warming as the “climate crisis” and have pushed for a rapid global transition away from fossil fuel reliance.

Experts have argued that rushing away from fossil fuels will lead to higher prices and greater likelihood of blackouts during periods of high electricity demand. The federal watchdog North American Electric Reliability Corporation noted in a recent report that the majority of the U.S. faced a heightened risk of blackouts in part because of policies forcing a green transition too quickly.

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