Freedom of Information Request

Matt Kasper filed this request with the Department of Energy Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of the United States of America.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking # HQ-2017-01378-F
Est. Completion None
Status
Partially Completed

Communications

From: Matt Kasper

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

All internal and external electronic communications including electronic attachments to/from the following employees: Joe Eto, Ryan Wiser, Chuck Goldman, Bill Parks, Kevin Lynn. The search terms for this request are "Electricity Markets and Reliability"; "Alison Silverstein"; "Silverstein"; "Travis Fisher"; "Fisher"; "Kimberly Rasar"; "Rasar".

The timeframe of this request is limited to April 10, 2017 and the processing date of this request.

The requested records relate to DOE’s evaluations of energy markets and reliability. These activities are operations of the federal government.

The records sought in this request are not already in the public domain. Therefore, the requested records will likely contribute to an understanding of the federal government operations or activities as DOE evaluates energy markets and reliability. This information will inform the public about how the federal government has informed its decision and who participated in its decision-making process during the timeframe in this FOIA, which has not been revealed to the public.

The general public is significantly interested in the requested information and how the federal government is evaluating energy markets and reliability. In fact, Energy & Environment Daily, Bloomberg, Vox, ThinkProgress, Greentech Media, and the Washington Post have all written articles to inform the general public about the recent decision of the federal government to evaluate energy markets and reliability. Furthermore, Senator Chuck Grassley has written to Secretary Rick Perry asking questions about DOE’s role in evaluating energy markets and reliability, and so have Senators Maria Cantwell, Debbie Stabenow, Mazie Hirono, Al Fraken, Tammy Duckworth, Ron Wyden, and Martin Heinrich.

I am requesting a fee waiver. The organization I work for, the Energy and Policy Institute, is a clearinghouse of information and can qualify as a representative of the news media. There are several examples of public record requests that have been provided to my organization and that were then published on our website to inform journalists publishing articles. Also, I have accounts with news outlets including Huffington Post and Republic Report. Past publications on these outlets as proof are available here (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/matt-kasper) and (https://www.republicreport.org/author/matthew/). Additionally, previously FOIAs from the Energy and Policy Institute have been categorized under Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1004.9(b)(3) as a "news media" requester.

The Energy and Policy Institute plans to disseminate the requested records to the general public through its web assets: energyandpolicy.org, republicreport.org, huffingtonpost.com. The Energy and Policy Institute has numerous examples on its website of public records received through public records requests that not only informs the public but are published to inform other news outlets that have larger web presence to inform more members of the public.

The request is not sought for commercial purposes and instead will be used to inform the public through energyandpolicy.org, republicreport.org, huffingtonpost.com.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Matt Kasper

From: Bartos, Miriam

Hello Mr. Kasper:

This is to acknowledge receipt of your subject Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted to this office for processing. In your request, you are seeking the following information related to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) studies:

"All internal and external electronic communications including electronic attachments to/from the following employees: Joe Eto, Ryan Wiser, Chuck Goldman, Bill Parks, Kevin Lynn" using the search terms "Electricity Markets and Reliability; "Alison Silverstein"; "Silverstein"; "Travis Fisher"; "Fisher"; Kimberly Rasar"; "Rasar".

You also indicate in your request that "the timeframe of this request is limited to April 10, 2017 and the processing date of this request," and that "the requested records relate to DOE's evaluations of energy markets and reliability."

In accordance with 10 CFR 1004.2(m) and 1004.9(b)(3), and the applicable OMB guidelines, you are categorized as a "News Media" requester and will be assessed charges only for reproducing responsive documents, excluding charges for the first 100 pages. We will inform you of any charges regarding reproduction before they are incurred, although none are anticipated as any responsive documents would be in electronic form.

Before I can begin processing your request, I do need a bit of clarification. For your request, you would like us to search Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's e-mails, correct? Please confirm or otherwise let us know where you would like the search to take place. I will place your request on hold pending this clarification. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact me at 630-252-2041, or via e-mail at miriam.bartos@science.doe.gov<mailto:miriam.bartos@science.doe.gov>. Thank you.

Mimi Bartos

Miriam R. Bartos
FOIA/Privacy Act Officer
U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Science - Integrated Support Center
Office of Chief Counsel
9800 S. Cass Ave., Bldg. 201
Argonne, IL 60439
(630)252-2041
E-mail: Miriam.Bartos@science.doe.gov

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From: Matt Kasper

Hi,
Yes, please search Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's e-mails. I requested the following employees: Joe Eto, Ryan Wiser, Chuck Goldman, Bill Parks, Kevin Lynn. I realized after I sent the request that Kevin Lynn works in a different DOE department. We can take his name out of my request, so it will just be Joe Eto, Ryan Wiser, Chuck "Charles" Goldman, Bill Parks.

Thanks,
Matt

From: Bartos, Miriam

Hello Mr. Kasper,

We have determined that your current request falls under the jurisdiction of the DOE Headquarters FOIA Office because responsive records are under a DOE Headquarters Office of Electricity project, so we are transferring your request and your narrowing of the request to DOE Headquarters (see attached letter). That office will work directly with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on a response to you. If you have questions, please let me know.

Mimi Bartos

  • Request Transfer to HQ - Letter to Requester re Transfer to HQ - Kaspe

From: Matt Kasper

Hi Mimi,
Thank you for the notification. Can you explain why this request of LBNL employees has been transferred to DOE Headquarters when my request to LBNL CH-2017-01117-F was not? Apologies if it was and I didn't realize it.

Thanks,
Matt

From: Bartos, Miriam

Hello Mr. Kasper,

The project that is the subject of both of your requests is a DOE Office of Electricity (OE)-funded project at LBNL. I am in the Office of Science (SC), and have cognizance over SC prime contract activities at LBNL, but the project that is the subject of your requests does not fall under SC cognizance. The fact that the project was an OE-funded project did not come to light until LBNL already produced the records responsive to your first request to me, so for your first request I consulted with OE and obtained their concurrence and authorization to release the information to you directly rather than going through the transfer process. In some cases we do that when it’s a full release, so we can get the information to the requester more quickly. For your second request, since we know the cognizant arm of our agency is DOE OE, and under initial inquiry, LBNL has indicated that there may be a substantial amount of responsive information, some of which likely is covered under FOIA exemptions, DOE Headquarters FOIA for the OE program will be the determining authority on release or withholding. I’m so sorry for the confusion, but we always try to get the responsive information to the requester as quickly as possible, and as was with your first request, that meant me responding with OE concurrence and authority to get you the full release information quicker, rather than go through the transfer process.

If you have any other questions on this, just let me know. Thanks.

Mimi

From: Gorsage, Joanna (CONTR)

Dear Mr. Kasper,

Attached please find a letter acknowledging receipt of your FOIA Request HQ-2017-01378-F. Please feel free to call or email me with any questions.

JoAnna Gorsage, Esq., CIPP/US
Central Research, Contractor to the
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20585
202-586-2708

From: Gorsage, Joanna (CONTR)

Dear Mr. Kasper,

Attached please find an interim letter in response to your FOIA Request HQ-2017-01378-F. Please feel free to call or email me with any questions.

Thank you,

JoAnna Gorsage, Esq., CIPP/US
Central Research, Contractor to the
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20585
202-586-2708

From: Gorsage, Joanna (CONTR)

Dear Mr. Kaspar,

We are working on your response and hope to have it out to you within the next two weeks. I will keep you updated if that time line is expected to change. Please feel free to call or email me with any questions.

JoAnna

From: Matt Kasper

Great, thank you!

From: Gorsage, Joanna (CONTR)

Hi Mr. Kasper,

I gave you a call today to discuss your request and provide a status update. I also had a couple of questions. Will you let me know a convenient time for you to chat regarding your request? Thank you!

JoAnna Gorsage

From: Gorsage, Joanna (CONTR)

Hi Mr. Kasper,

As a follow up, I would also like to discuss your FOIA Request HQ-2017-01061-F. As they have similar issues I think it would be useful to discuss them both at the same time.

Thank you so much,

JoAnna Gorsage

From: Gorsage, Joanna (CONTR)

Hi Mr. Kasper,

Thank you again for speaking with me regarding your FOIA Requests HQ-2017-01378-F and HQ-2017-01061-F.

With regard to your FOIA request HQ-2017-01378-F, you agreed to limit the responsive documents to those documents discussing the Study Examining Electricity Markets and Reliability. In addition, you agreed to waive attachments to the responsive emails. We will include any responsive emails with attachments and you will be able to see the titles of the attachments. You can then request any attachments you are interested in, in a subsequent FOIA request.

With regard to your FOIA request HQ-2017-01061-F, you have agreed to waive attachments to Alison Silverstein’s emails that are responsive to the search for “implementation plan”, “electricity generation”, “electricity markets and reliability” or “60-day study”. As indicated above, we will include any responsive emails with attachments and you will be able to see the titles of the attachments. You can then request any attachments you are interested in, in a subsequent FOIA request.

Finally, as I mentioned, we have responded to other requests regarding the Study Examining Electricity Markets and Reliability. I am attaching the responsive documents that have gone out to those requests. You do not have appeal rights to the redactions in the attached responsive documents, however you will of course retain the right to appeal any redactions to the documents produced in response to your requests HQ-2017-01378-F or HQ-2017-01061-F.

If the above is an accurate description of our discussion, please respond at your earliest convenience with your agreement.

Thank you so much!

JoAnna

From: Matt Kasper

I agree, thank you.
-Matt

From: Matt Kasper

Hi JoAnna,
Any chance this responsive document can be sent in a clearer way?

  • Pages20from20HQ-2017-01091-F_1st_Partial_Response_Redacted_Docs_FINAL-3.pdf

From: Gorsage, Joanna (CONTR)

Hi Mr. Kasper,

I’m attaching my attempt at a cleaner version – this was about as good as I could get it. I am also attaching another partial response that went out regarding the grid study. This is again a previous release and as discussed – you do not have appeal rights to the redactions in the attached documents, but I am able to get the responsive material to you much sooner.

I am continuing to process documents for HQ-2017-01378-F and HQ-2017-01061-F.

Let me know if you have any questions.

JoAnna

From: Matt Kasper

Thank you! I was able to read that document.

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