This is a guest post by Gus Van Harten, professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School and author of Sold Down the Yangtze: Canada's Lopsided Investment Deal with China. This post originally...
When government officials bow to lobbyists it's business as usual, when government officials do the work of the lobbyist, it's borderline scandalous. Internal government documents released today show that lobbying in Washington has gotten much easier for auto manufacturers, with government officials doing it for them.
Email correspondence obtained by Rep. Henry Waxman, Chair of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee shows current Bush Administration appointees heading up a lobbying effort against California's application to implement their own motor vehicle standards.
According to Waxman, the effort was personally directed by the Bush-appointed Secretary of Transportation, Mary Peters, apparently approved by the Chief of Staff in the White House Council on Environmental Quality and coordinated by the auto industry.
Copies of the emails are attached at the bottom of this post.
The prime minister’s call for flexibility at the largest-ever political summit on climate change held firm with the Conservative government's opposition to a UN-driven push for short-term binding targets, and its preference for goals that have less economic impact. Not to worry, though, technology will save the day.
The oily Heartland Institute has a charming package of PowerPoint presentations retreading all of the old misdirection about the causes and effects of climate change. For example, a presentation from Minnesota Senator Michael Jungbauer says that “34 per cent of scientists and practitioners (my emphasis) disagree that global warming is a serious problem facing the planet.”Okay. But, even if that's true, and even if the sample of “practitioners” include people who are vaguely qualified to comment on climate science, that still leaves two thirds of the respondents firmly on the side of climate calamity nervousness.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who only stumbled upon the reality of climate change in the last year, is scheduled to address the United Nations today to boast about Canada's climate change plans.
Per the partial quote above, he goes with a disadvantage. According to Johanne Whitmore, a climate change policy analyst with the Pembina Institute, “We (Canadians) have next to no credibility on the international negotiation level.”I actually think that Whitmore is overstating the case. Canada has less than no credibility on this issue.