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BREAKING: ‘Anti-Lobbyist’ Obama Administration Recruited Left-Wing Lobbyists to Sell Bogus ‘Green Jobs’

A FOIA reveals the Department of Energy turned to George Soros and to wind industry lobbyists to help cover up two economic studies pointing to the failure of European wind energy programs.

by
Christopher Horner

Bio

March 3, 2010 - 11:57 am
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When the two studies had appeared, I wrote:

In the face of some recent pushback — for example, from the studies out of Spain and Denmark referenced in this space on numerous occasions — the windmill welfare queens over at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) have been cranking up the snivel volume to eleven.

Reading the group’s press releases it does seem that they even had a hand in getting the president of the United States to sic a taxpayer-funded agency on a foreign academic study about a foreign country’s experience with its own policies, because said academic team and its writings threaten the welfare if the word gets out.

Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, we now know that the assertion was correct. The Obama administration produced this denunciation at the behest of, and with the active participation of, the wind energy’s lobby.

The first sign that something improper had occurred came when NREL responded to media inquiries claiming that the paper was entirely the DoE’s idea, while the DoE’s Office of Congressional Affairs wrote to a Senate oversight office to claim that it was all NREL’s doing.

As I noted in my FOIA requests to both DoE and NREL:

We note that one of two co-authors of the above-cited NREL paper, which paper attests that “This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States government,” is on record in an E&E News story announcing of the project, “DOE requested the analysis be performed.

However, DOE Congressional Affairs is on record saying the following:

NREL initiated the report on their own as part of their on-going analytical role to assess emerging issues and monitor external studies and develop internal memos or external documents to address research that is at odds with DOE/EERE scientific understanding.

We therefore seek documents revealing the origins of the effort and clarifying the alternating, mutually exclusive claims of NREL saying DoE told me to do it and DoE telling Congress that it was all NREL’s idea, fully aware of of DoE’s extant protestations to congressional offices that the above-cited paper is of like kind with other NREL products (noting here that no paper DoE cites is comparable on any level [citations omitted]).

The question “which time are you lying?” came to mind, though it was not at all clear that the answer could not be “both.” The FOIA documents — 900 pages, so far — show great internal concern among high level DoE political appointees when this question was pressed, and a resistance to put the answer in writing.

The provided documents conclude with emails citing late-night phone calls to get the story straight, and calling — with “high importance” — a meeting at 9:00 a.m., September 22, 2009, in the office of Ms. Zoi’s chief operating officer, Steven Chalk. The meeting was called to “huddle up” face-to-face to put things straight.

Congressman James Sensenbrenner wrote to Ms. Zoi two days later, asking five specific questions about how and by whose instruction this NREL paper was produced. On January 6, 2010, Zoi wrote back with a one-paragraph reply which either failed or refused to provide answers to any of the queries.

We now know that the prospect of such answers seeing the light of day was clearly of great concern to the DoE. This raises the question of whether, by refusing to share information sought by the ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Global Warming, Ms. Zoi lied to or misled a member of Congress exercising his legitimate oversight function.

Over the coming days I will produce specifics of these internal emails and emails between the administration and the windmill lobby (think numerous European companies, not merely a few utilities and GE).

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Christopher Horner is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and author of the recently-published The Liberal War on Transparency: Confessions of a Freedom of Information "Criminal".
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