Greenpeace USA's Polluter Harmony project released another great spoof video this week as part of it “world's dirtiest dating service” series mocking polluters and bought-off politicians. Watch:
This is a guest post by Connor Gibson, originally published at Polluterwatch.
At a well-attended energy forum hosted by Politico on Thursday, I shed some light on the role of coal lobbyist Jeffrey Holmstead in blocking pollution reductions for his coal utility and mining clients after he said we can't “regulate our way to clean energy.” Here's the video:
UPDATE 11/16: Holmstead was later confronted on camera by Gabe Elsner of the Checks and Balances Project after the disruption at the Politico forum. Watch Holmstead re-write the history of his attacks on mercury pollution laws:
By Cindy Baxter, originally published at PolluterWatch.org.
When Greenpeace first began focussing on ExxonMobil's funding of climate denial, its CEO and Chairman was arch denier Lee Raymond.
Raymond had spent years - and millions - on denying the science of climate change, both in funding right wing think tanks and scientists, and in his role as chair of the American Petroleum Institute's climate change committee. A 1998 document revealed ExxonMobil plotting with some of those think tanks to challenge climate science.
For years, Exxon had paid for expensive, weekly “Opinion Advertorials” on the New York Times opinion pages challenging the science (see image).
When Raymond stepped down and Rex Tillerson took over in 2006, we hoped the worst was over. That year, ExxonMobil dropped its funding of the Competitive Enterprise Institute that ran the charmingly titled “Cooler Heads Coalition”. The final straw for ExxonMobil was the CEI's “C02 is life” advert (this links to an annotated version, but it's the original ad) positing that we couldn't get enough of the stuff.
In dropping the CEI, ExxonMobil told everyone it had been “misunderstood” on its stance on climate change - and the media were led to believe that this tiger had changed its stripes. Its “Corporate Responsibility report” that year stated it was dropping its funding of a few think tanks because their “‘position on climate change diverted attention from the important discussion on how the world will secure the energy required for economic growth in an environmentally responsible manner.”
And yet, the company continued to fund deniers and does to this day. As of May last year, Exxon has poured a total of $26,061,235 into the campaign against climate denial. While the funding in 2010 was just above $1 million, well down from its 2005 peak of $3.478 million, in 2010 Exxon started funding one of the think tanks that it had dropped and arguably the first off the blocks in the climate denial campaign, the George C Marshall Institute. The Koch brothers have taken up where Exxon left off, but its legacy is clear.
Authored by Connor Gibson, cross-posted with permission from PolluterWatch.org
For those who missed the deep investigative piece published by InsideClimate News last week documenting a half-century of Koch Industries involvement in the destructive tar sands of Alberta, Canada, it has finally closed the coffin on a vicious round of lies straight from Koch Industries.
Through its aggressive KochFacts PR website, Koch lawyers, lobbyists and communications advisors hammered InsideClimate for its initial reports on the Koch connection to tar sands and the Keystone XL pipeline, specifically attacking the outlet's publisher and calling the reporting “deceptive,” “untrue” and “utterly false,” among other claims that, ironically, are deceptive, untrue and utterly false.
A major indicator of InsideClimate's diligence is the response from KochFacts this time around, which mentions nothing of InsideClimate's damning new documentation of ongoing Koch operations in the tar sands, including the following points from the article:
• The company is one Canada's largest crude oil purchasers, shippers and exporters, with more than 130 crude oil customers.
• It is among the largest U.S. refiners of oil sands crude, responsible for about 25 percent of imports.
• It is one of the largest holders of mineral leases in Alberta, where most of Canada's tar sands deposits are located.
• It has its name attached to hundreds of well sites across Alberta tracked by Canadian regulators.
• It owns pipelines in Minnesota and Wisconsin that import western Canadian crude to U.S. refineries and also distribute finished products to customers.
• It owns and operates a 675,000 barrel oil terminal in Hardisty, Alberta, a major tar sands export hub.
• And this year it kicked off a 10,000 barrel-a-day mining project in Alberta that could be the seed of a much larger project.
Despite President Obama’s campaign pledges of government transparency and limiting the influence of K Street lobbyists on policymaking, coal industry lobbyists got their stockings stuffed with wishes this year in Washington. Climate and energy legislation is dead, the Environmental Protection Agency is entering its 21st year of failing to regulate mercury emissions from coal plants, coal ash regulations are delayed indefinitely, mountaintop removal mining continues, and the myth of “clean coal” is alive and well thanks to continuing praise by President Obama and Vice President Biden.
Happy Holidays! Here’s a lump of coal, no two, and some coal ash slurry to wash it down with. Don’t worry, it’s “clean coal!”
The Coal Grinches aren’t here to steal Christmas gifts from Whoville residents. They’re here to steal a safe climate, clean water and breathable air from every American man, woman and child. And we won’t know when they’ve come and gone, thanks to the White House’s apparent neglect (or shutdown?) of the “open government” records of its meetings with lobbyists.
While the final EPA hearing is happening today in Tennessee to solicit public input on federal proposals to regulate toxic coal ash, a new report [PDF] from DeSmogBlog and PolluterWatch shows that coal industry lobbyists held dozens of secretive meetings with the White House to peddle their influence long before the Obama administration opened the process to the public.
The coal industry’s influence on the process was largely peddled behind the scenes, beginning over a year ago, when lobbyists representing coal ash producers and users started swarming the White House to protect the coal industry from full responsibility for the potential health and water threats posed by coal ash waste.
The lobbyists’ ability to quickly and easily gain access and influence over the White House’s review of this critical environmental regulation calls into serious question President Obama’s campaign pledge to limit the role of lobbyists in federal decision-making.
Congressmembers, are you too busy being indentured servants to corporations to find love?
Lobbyists, did that pickup line about healthcare flop with your beloved Senator? Well, have you heard the one about “clean coal” yet?
Polluters, are you too shy to admit the things you’d like to do to Rep. Joe Barton?
Well, you are all in luck. Today marks the launch of PolluterHarmony.com, a new online matchmaking service designed to help dirty polluters and their lobbyists find that perfect politician to live forever in holy mmm…