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Christopher Horner

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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Government Gears Up to Defend the EPA Against a ‘Center For Food Safety’ Demonstration

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 - by Christopher Horner

It’s nice to see the administration taking security seriously. Now. For EPA. And a, well, not overly threatening threat. Priorities, I suppose.

Subject: Fw: Peaceful Demonstration Anticipated at EPA on 10/25/12
From: “Josephson.Ron@epamail.epa.gov”
To: Chris Horner , others

Subject: Peaceful Demonstration Anticipated at EPA on 10/25/12

EPA has learned that The Center for Food Safety will conduct a demonstration near EPA Federal Triangle facilities Thursday, October 25th. The demonstration is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. in the grassy area between 12th Street and the entrance to the Federal Triangle Metro Station. As a precautionary measure, the Federal Protective Service will increase its presence in the Federal Triangle area, and Security Management Division personnel (wearing orange vests) will be outside to answer employees’ questions. The following measures will be in place: EPA guards will check badges outside building entrances from late morning to mid-afternoon. If you expect visitors during this time on October 25th, please alert the Security Management Division by sending an email in advance to OARM-OA-SMD-OB@epa.gov. Include in your message visitors’ names, the building they will visit, and their expected time of arrival. Visitors will be initially checked outside. Additional security alerts will be sent as needed. If you have questions, please send an email to OARM-OA-SMD-OB@epa.gov.

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Timely Questions for Tonight’s Debate

Monday, October 22nd, 2012 - by Christopher Horner

I was asked in advance by a program host to provide a question for tonight relevant to my new book’s revelations. Here is what I provided:

Mr. President:

The administration is defending its shifting story on Benghazi as the product of developments in available intelligence. This is most applicable with its defense of the protracted assertions of something that no intelligence supported — that the attack was a spontaneous result of a YouTube video clip.

This changing story given to the public appears to be more an effort to mold the public’s views — particularly as regards the administration’s performance — as opposed to inform them (to be a thermostat, not a thermometer, to tweak one saying).

This is at odds with your campaign’s emphasis in 2008 on being “the most transparent administration, ever” — something no one made you emphasize, but you most certainly did. As is so much else, for example, the refusals to turn over enormous volumes of documents relating to legitimate scandals (Solyndra, Fast and Furious) to Congress, the politicization of FOIA and even basic failure to comply with requests to produce public records as is legally required, as some in the media (Bloomberg) have now discovered. In fact, several left-wing groups have called your administration the “worst” when it comes to transparency, “ever”.

Meanwhile, your administration stands credibly accused of leaking classified or sensitive information for political purposes, while conducting the most aggressive campaign against whistleblowers in our history. Yet your campaign has also emphasized demands to know about private individuals who support speech it does not like, or the candidate it opposes.

Why is the record so starkly different than the rhetoric? Is it because the promise of transparency was something that polled well? Is transparency in government really a good thing, as liberals insisted for decades, or a threat? Does it depend on the possible use of the information, or whether the information is helpful to you?

 

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The Liberal War on Transparency: The Left Turns a Signature Achievement on its Head

Monday, October 8th, 2012 - by Christopher Horner

Transparency in government was a hallmark achievement of American progressives. Renowned liberal jurist Louis Brandeis wrote, “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” The man who appointed Brandeis to the Supreme Court, Woodrow Wilson, waxed poetically about the ideal. However, the bloom is plainly off that rose, despite liberals continued invoking of transparency as a campaign theme.

Now, public servants require heightened privacy as to the details of their work. But woe be to the private citizen or corporation who chooses to participate in the political debate.

Providing financial support to pro-free market public policy groups — those whom the Wall Street Journals Kim Strassel calls Obamas Enemies List— apparently risks having ones personal affairs laid bare for scrutiny. This, liberals assure us, is not for purposes of intimidating those who participate and chilling others from making a similar error in judgment. It is about the public’s right to know.

Does the public have a right to know that those who participate more meaningfully, say, by actually voting, are you who they say they are? This seems to be an entry-level transparency requirement for political participation. Alas no, requiring identification is an invasion of privacy of the highest order clearly meant to discourage voters from exercising a right so fundamental that we can’t dare do anything to protect the integrity of its practice.

Meanwhile, a liberal administration leaks sensitive information, while conducting the most aggressive prosecution campaign against whistle-blowers in our nations history. And that’s according to other liberals, shocked that Team Obama weren’t quite who they said they were.

The Obama administration’s standoffs with Congress have led to historic litigation, but its deliberate, organized efforts to deny access to records go much deeper.  Today, the self-congratulation in 2009 (anticipatory a la Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize that same year) as the most transparent administration ever has the odor of misdirection about it, hinting in retrospection at a clampdown on releasing actual public information to those who seek it.

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Donor Disclosure Scandal: Another Day for the Most Transparent President Ever

Monday, October 8th, 2012 - by Christopher Horner

The last week presented an odd pattern of behavior for “the most transparent administration, ever”, a facially absurd claim by an administration which in fact spends an awful lot of time and energy hiding the ball.

There was emergence of the coverup about Benghazi, and a State Department website revision making the past more helpful to the current spin. Then familiar and, for the specifics of the familiarity, credible rumors of and about-to-break donor scandal involving disclosure – in a campaign run by Jim Messina? No way (keep reading). The facts of which are now out, as well.

Then the administration was outed for actually offering to pay the legal bills of defense contractors sued for breaking a law which requires them to inform workers of looming layoffs. At least until after the election, apparently it isn’t important to pay too much attention to one of the left’s heretofore claimed right-to-know laws.

This was followed by Friday’s facially self-discrediting jobs report, apparently assisted with changes to the methodology for preparing the (once again, anemic) employment numbers touted as a dramatic improvement while three people abandoned the workforce for every job created. In response the president gave a speech warning off scrutiny of these apparent games with the employment numbers; those who do are “talk[ing] down the economy”. Got that, media? Gov. Romney?

Transparency is cool. Unless abused by, say, pointing out uncomfortable details the Bureau of Labor Statistics seemingly wants to hide. (At least for now we are still able to learn if BLS economists donate to President Obama).

The truth, which I detail in a newly released book, The Liberal War on Transparency: Confessions of a Freedom of Information “Criminal”, is that this crowd actually just aren’t that into transparency. They never have been.

Information is no longer about good governance, as liberals initially imagined open access to public information: allowing citizen checks and balances, to curb abuses of governmental authority and taxpayer dollars. Now, liberals are in charge of the institutions they feared would be abused, so there’s no real need for transparency laws anymore.

Information is seen less as a public good than as a weapon, which if obtained would only be used to embarrass or intimidate. And so the information that is released needs to be someone’ else’s.

Ask those Obama allies living the idea that when private citizens support speech they don’t like, well, everything about them must become public. Indeed, it was at about this point in Barack Obama’s first two campaigns that his opponents found sealed court records leaking from courthouses across Chicago.

So we are experiencing, under President Obama, a crackdown on access to public information (and even systematic destruction of federal records, hiding email owed to the public, and more).

Don’t believe me? Give it a few days. Watch how Mitt Romney’s tax returns, and “donors to shadowy groups” roar back to the forefront as campaign issues in the remaining debates. (I advise Mr. Obama to wait until after the foreign policy debate, given that whole Libyan unpleasantness).

 

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Vigilante President, Liberal Fascist

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 - by Christopher Horner

On the heels of such paeans to vigilante governance as this and this, and various cris de coeur that democracy is standing in the way of what was indeed sold, in the closing days of the 2008 campaign, as “fundamental transformation” of said democracy, I was struck by a passage while reading a book last night otherwise unrelated in any way to current politics. But it led to a very disturbing conclusion.

The book is Tobruk by Peter Fitzsimons. Explaining the rise of fascism, Fitzsimons wrote, “there was a growing belief that ordinary democracy could not work any more — because no one could achieve a majority of popular support.” This was startling. It sounded so…familiar.

From Thomas Friedman and Barack Obama we hear the same thing: those other people voted into office in an historic sweep, on a campaign promising to obstruct our plans, why, they’re obstructing our plans! We can’t get a majority for anything (…that we want and the majority don’t). Time to tinker with the system, test its limits, legislate through rules and bully citizens and of course judges deciding cases where people are calling us on it all dared sue.

Recall this nugget, rearranging the order of battle set forth by our Founders; the academic offering it cheered the current fashion on more than a year ago just after the legislative tsunami rushed out, revealing the political wreckage of Obama’s mandate and showing that the people “resist action”: “‘When Congress resists action on pressing environmental issues, regulation provides a way forward,’ said Thomas E. Lovejoy, University Professor in Science and Public Policy at George Mason University.”

Try this on for size: when Congress enacts authority, regulation provides a path forward.

Then just now driving I heard discussion on Glenn Beck’s show of what surely smacks of prosecutorial recklessness in Florida. This is relevant for it portends division and strife which, it deeply pains me to say, President Obama and his Attorney General have aggressively fostered for political advantage, including on racial grounds.

Beck discussed a plausible political “win-win” that this prosecutorial overreach presents the president; maybe, but I acknowledge Alan Dershowitz’s argument that this is scripting chaos in ignorance of the plain language of what the law calls for. I won’t leap to conclude that desires for social change or political gain lie beneath this but, why, in Heaven’s name, is the rule of law so carelessly disrespected with such frequency these days? Including in the White House (read on).

I see that which is being scripted, and hear the already common calls to take matters into hands enraged by a grievance industry struggling to deal with progress having left their business model behind. And with the increasing fruits of their rage-mongering being all too familiar.

Unlike far too many it seems, I appreciate the destructive nature of playing with, even seeking to instigate a replay of history, of “vigilante justice.” Per Wiki, “Vigilante justice” is rationalized by the idea that adequate legal mechanisms for criminal punishment are either nonexistent or insufficient. This rings of Obama’s and Friedman’s complaints.

I have come to the terrible realization, that we have a vigilante president in the White House, surrounded and supported by a cast of vigilantes.

Barack Obama openly decries the system once it stops working his way, and insists he will find ways to work around it for that very reason. But he is not a surrogate, he’s not a sympathetic left-wing columnist. He is not “Occupy.” He is President of the United States.

Existing laws can feasibly be used as legitimate means to achieve ends that revisions of the law, or a new law, aimed to obtain. Other times they are simply vehicles that will do, thanks to the extreme deference that courts grant regulatory agencies: challengers have an extraordinary burden of proof in seeking to have rules overturned by the courts. But some of President Obama’s moves have been plainly unlawful, and others too gray on that count to be responsibly pushed by someone sworn to uphold the Constitution.

He is using laws for purposes never intended for them, in order to push through an agenda which the elected representatives rejected (the FCC’s activism and EPA’s “global warming” agenda, for example); he subverts the rule of law to the benefit of cronies, from Solyndra to Chrysler (and gets away with it, while also playing the thug); he ignores the Constitution and precedent (making “recess appointments” when Congress is in session, the very same “pro forma” session in which they rammed through ObamaCare on a partisan vote); and he decides not to enforce laws he is sworn to uphold (New Black Panther case, DOMA).

And, when justices advance legitimate questions about the constitutionality of one of these follies he orchestrates a campaign of public intimidation, calling any effort to exercise their traditional function of determining a law’s consistency with the Constitution would be “judicial activism.”

He routinely seeks to divide. Not merely ideologically, but socially and toward aggravating social tensions. I would bet that he is farther from what he claimed to be than even his most ardent opponents, who felt they saw through him, imagined.

Our system is no longer working for him and his plans to impose on Americans what they have said they do not want. And so he seeks to go around that system. By whatever means necessary. He is not constrained by our system. He is a vigilante.

Barack Obama is a vigilante president. With a hat tip to Jonah Goldberg, he epitomizes the Liberal Fascist.

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Sierra Club and Chesapeake Energy: Long Live Enron!

Monday, February 6th, 2012 - by Christopher Horner

Reading about Sierra Club’s apparent issue advocacy on behalf of the anti-coal natural gas industry, worth nearly seven million dollars per year to Sierra according to Time Magazine, I recalled an infamous memo to Enron’s ‘global warming’/‘clean energy economy’ team from their own ambassador to the greens, John Palmisano.

I knew of that memo having been interested most things Enron since my unhappy three-week or so stint as Enron’s Director of Federal Government Relations in 1997, my hasty departure precipitated by a negative response to my audacity in questioning Enron’s strategy: near-pure rent-seeking, which means making your money the old fashioned way, by policy favors from buddies in government, executed in Baptist-and-Bootlegger coalitions with green groups.

Here is the memo’s opening, and see if you can catch the illuminating sentence (also helpfully underlined, to separate it from the rest of the eye-openers for those subjected to endless mis-reportage on the actual sources of support for and opposition to the ‘global warming’ agenda):

To: Terry Thorn, Joe Hillings, Cynthia Sandherr, Jeff Keeler, Fiona Grant, Hap Boyd, Bill Shoff, Dan Badger, Tom Kearney, Lynda Clemmons, Bruce Stram, Mike Terraso, Rob Bradley, Jim O’Neill, John Hardy

From: John Palmisano

Date: December 12, 1997

Subject: Implications of the Climate Change Agreement in Kyoto & What Transpired

This memo summarizes the implications of the agreement reached in Kyoto and also describes what I was doing and provides some observations.

Implications

If implemented, this agreement will do more to promote Enron’s business than will almost any other regulatory initiative outside of restructuring of the energy and natural gas industries in Europe and the United States. The potential to add incremental gas sales, and additional demand for renewable technology is enormous. In addition, a carbon emissions trading system will be developed.

Yep. And all-too-common today, a business plan consisting of efforts to lobby “regulatory initiatives” into place. GE, anyone?

Enron’s faves were cap-and-trade (euphemised above as “a carbon emissions trading system”), renewable energy mandates, and what is now called ‘green jobs’. Like GE. And Chesapeake.

So, with that Sierra/Chesapeake revelation in mind I read on through the old document, seeing that it did indeed omit Sierra Club from the list of groups whose love for Enron and their shared agenda — more windmills (from Enron Wind, now GE Wind) and less coal, necessitating more gas…hey, where have I heard that before? — should be “monitized”.

Through our involvement with the climate change initiatives, Enron now has excellent credentials with many “green” interests including Greenpeace, WWF, NRDC, GermanWatch, the US Climate Action Network, the European Climate Action Network, Ozone Action, WRI, and Worldwatch. This position should be increasingly cultivated and capitalized on (monetized).

(Parenthetically, I heard many times people refer to Enron in glowing terms. Such praise went like this: “Other companies should be like Enron, seeking out 21st century business opportunities” or “Progressive companies like Enron are….” Or “Proof of the viability of market-based energy and environmental programs is Enron’s success in power and SO2 trading.”) h/t MasterResource.org

Maybe Sierra only recently learned about business from their green brethren.  Still, there we have it. Enron is dead. Long live Enron.

 

 

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Tuesday’s ‘State of Solyndra’ Speech

Monday, January 23rd, 2012 - by Christopher Horner

Oh my, The Hill reports,

President Obama will unveil his election-year energy agenda Tuesday night in his State of the Union address.

In a video message [below] sent to supporters Saturday, Obama said the speech will lay out an economic platform that includes “American energy, fueled by homegrown and alternative energy sources.”

Obama is also likely to tout achievements such as the increase in auto mileage standards and federal support for clean energy projects as he mounts his case for reelection.

The real mystery is whether the president will map out major new energy proposals or simply offer a robust defense — and maybe repackaging — of existing policies…

It is time to remember that President Obama used his first two State of the Union speeches (the first actually not called that, but…) and, to show his seriousness, his first address to the UN General Assembly, to upbraid Congress with the same, very deliberately worded demand for “legislation that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America”.

Well, we’ve all decoded that one by now. It means making the stuff that works cost prohibitive — “bankrupt[ing]” it, in his famous words to the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board — while propping up the uneconomical stuff which doesn’t work. Sealing off federal land for hydrocarbon projects while fast-tracking land-grabbing and bird/bat chopping solar and wind. Which happen to disproportionately be “investments” of his campaign bundlers and other supporters.

Here’s to hoping those in attendance and, dare I wish for this, the media, make a mockery of such a State of Solyndra speech.

h/t JunkScience.com

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Climate Alarmist to Doubters and Voters: Respect My Authoritah!

Monday, January 23rd, 2012 - by Christopher Horner

Success in determining what children shall be taught, by parents, of all people, has got the global warming industry organizing to purge local schools of heretical thought. Specifically, the robust ‘skeptical’ case against the theory of catastrophic man-made global warming must not be permitted when the subject is broached in the classroom.

Left unmentioned is one seemingly meaningful reason, that the global warming industry — those, we must recall, who seek authority, individual expense and economic sacrifice — have after three decades and scores of billions of dollars been unable to make their case. Possibly teaching (or “indoctrinating”, you choose) their “ism” as fact is unwarranted.

Now comes historian and leading climate alarmist Naomi Oreskes of the University of California-San Diego, with a thousand deathless words in today’s Los Angeles Times grounded in her recent appearance for jury duty. Her beef is that we should accept authority, particularly her authority. Science, she concludes, is not a prosecution that must make its case, but a jury that decides what is and what isn’t, for us.

Cue Scopes “monkey trial” reference, where the defense sought to establish that laws forbidding the teaching of evolution were unconstitutional. Today, in its modern day equivalent, the climate industry seeks to prohibit teaching of the robust skeptical case against their faith, a theory grounded in computer models, a love of research grants and scarcity, while being continuously mocked by observations.

Leading Scopes protagonist, longtime Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, “led a Fundamentalist crusade to banish Darwin’s theory of evolution from American classrooms”. The comparisons of a Cross of Green to his own famous outburst should not go unnoticed.

Notwithstanding this belated stance that they need not make their case — as Bill Murray said in “Ghostbusters”, back off man, I’m a scientist! – the alarmists still have prosecutorial analogy or two stuck to their heels. In Scopes, the prosecution opened its case by pointing to the authority of the book of Genesis. For the alarmists, the be all and end all is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s ‘Assessment Report’, or what journalist Donna Laframboise calls in her book exposing that group’s corruption, the “climate Bible”.

Oreskes waves her hands ceaselessly insisting we must genuflect. The voters have said no, we need not. It continues to gall the global warming industry that this matters. Which itself tells us most of what we need to know about the global warmists.

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“Green” Jobs to be Obama’s Bain? Obama Should Be So Lucky…

Thursday, January 12th, 2012 - by Christopher Horner

Mitt Romney got the Left all atwitter by making the analogy between his layoffs at firms in which Bain Capital had taken a stake and the, ah, unpleasantness that occurred with entities in which President Obama unsuccessfully gambled taxpayer money, taking a stake in entities like Solyndra and Beacon Power which the private capital markets had eschewed.

The analogy is perfectly apt. Both pumped money into existing, struggling companies, making demands of company management. One (Solyndra) was so bad the Bains of the world wouldn’t touch it, but was the politicians’ marquee pick, and collapsed, laying everyone off; the other’s picks mostly survived thanks to the (private) intervention.

Except Obama’s folly is worse. His policies — which he formerly boasted were imported from Europe, if not so much, anymore — throw per-job fortunes at “creating” these positions (say, $355,555 according to his Council of Economic Advisors), but they are inherently temporary jobs which last only so long as the wealth transfer continues.

Erstwhile Obama model Spain proved this. When spokesman Robert Gibbs was called out about Spain’s failure, Obama continued giving the same speech but, implausibly, swapped out Spain for Denmark as the model for our energy system and new economy.

It apparently occurred to no one at the White House how silly it is to cite as our model a country with half the population of Manhattan which sits on a tiny spit of land that happens to be the world’s most hospitable for wind. But these were the same people who saw nothing wrong with pretending they could simply conjure an industry that has failed since the ‘80s. The 1880s.

Denmark was then also proved to not be the claimed success story. And today the Financial Times writes this story, “An awkward start to Denmark’s EU presidency,” noting that, “when it came to today’s official handoff of the EU reins to Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, there was a slight hiccup: Denmark’s Vestas, the world’s largest maker of wind turbines, chose the same day to announce it was cutting 2,335 jobs — most of them in its home country.”

This is only Vestas’s most recent layoff announcement, incidentally. And the Dane handled this much like Obama, saying “This feels today like an enormous setback, but this setback should not make us change our strategy. We need to be world leaders in energy efficiency, new technologies, green technologies, because we think it is not only good for the environment but it is also good business for Europe.”

EU Commission president Barrosso chimed in claiming it was all the economy — “most likely, it would be a reflection of the overall crisis of Europe…The reason behind the crisis in Europe is not because of the investment in green technology.” Which is the same line biofuels rent-seekers employed here this month, blaming “[t]he state of the economy, the state of the financial world, the state of the banks” [behind a Politico paywall] for the fact that despite a mandate that gallons of cellulosic ethanol be produced, well, none had.

Oddly, people producing real energy sources in the Bakken and Marcellus deposits, Poland’s shale gas, and some folks who I understand are trying to bring a pipeline down here aren’t reduced to such backfilling.

Regardless, this announcement is standard procedure in the “green economy’ (see Solyndra, Beacon Power, and so on). Theirs are phony jobs, existing only because politicians said, ok, sure, we don’t make or the use the following (unspoken: for quite rational reasons); but we should.”

And when they inevitably disappear, politicians are scolded for killing jobs. Like, say, this UK Telegraph headline, “Government accused of ‘destroying 25,000 green jobs’”. Or the Guardian story that cutting the support schemes “will kill solar industry stone dead” (for those who care, there is also the body count from these policies, “Fuel poverty ‘will claim 2,700 victims this winter’”).

Then the trouble really begins. Not only do we then see this, as in the Independent (UK), “UK face threat of legal action over [cutting] solar subsidy”, but these notional workers become real voters who can show up at rallies, vote or, gasp, give interviews with tales of woe.

Politicians get stupid over the notion of jobs that they can point to as having “created”, tossing billions of other peoples’ money in the vainglorious pursuit flying in the face of history since at least Frederic Bastiat’s time. Their spines hardly stiffen once they create the constituencies to lobby them for more. Wouldn’t want to “kill jobs” now, would you?”

As one might hear at the movie theater, “don’t go in there!” The truth is that amid all of the EU wreckage of these policies, not one country has figured out a politically acceptable way of unwinding what they created, once these people become real voters. So, as is their habit, they just keep squandering money, going deeper into debt promising it will get fixed. Later.

We can’t afford this.

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COP17 Climate Conference: Nations Agree to Bind Themselves…to Bind Themselves Later

Sunday, December 11th, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

The annual “historic agreement” to meet again later — wait, sorry, that’s “to save the planet” — has been agreed, to the also-annual teary-eyed hugging and standing ovations by EU delegates, at “COP-17,” the negotiations to replace the expiring (after 2012) Kyoto Protocol.

On its face, the summary is that the rest of the world agreed to let Europe continue binding itself until some later date. Yesterday, ClimateWire reported that a fund was established to administer the fund agreed in Copenhagen two years ago. Oh.

AP tells us that “a separate document obliges major developing nations like China and India, excluded under Kyoto, to accept legally binding emissions targets in the future,” meaning in a separate document China et al bound themselves to bind themselves later. [So....uh, they bound themselves for later? No. They bound themselves to bind themselves later. THIRD BASE!]

Oddly, no one seems too proud of this latest “breakthrough,” described as countries binding themselves to bind themselves later. The UN isn’t providing what the Telegraph tells us is a whopping two-page text. Takes awhile, you see.

The State Department doesn’t seem too keen on trumpeting their latest “historic agreement,” either, but the home page’s Daily Press Briefing does offer “New Photovoltaic Project Inaugurated At U.S. Embassy in Athens” and “Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Receives South-South Cooperation Award for Partnership.

So whatever it was it was less historic than these advances. Or no one wants to draw too much attention.

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Update: Sens. Barasso and Vitter Raise the Stakes on Obama’s UN FOIA Foil

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

On the heels of CEI’s FOIA seeking the goods on an unlawful end-run around FOIA and the Presidential Records Act we uncovered — ‘Obama’s Abramoff Scandal’, oddly the subject of no outrage from the usual suspects — Sens. David Vitter and John Barrasso have introduced an amendment today taking the scam head-on.

Offered as a restriction to the Commerce, Justice and State Departments spending bill for FY2012, amendment #862 makes plain that records hidden on this UN dead-drop zone are indeed still subject to FOIA, puts an end to any further NOAA participation in such practices — NOAA is the former lead US office on IPCC matters — and compels production of unlawfully stonewalled FOIA requests by me, Steve McIntyre and two others on the false grounds that the records produced and sent by US government employees and sitting on taxpayer-funded computers weren’t really agency records, but belonged to the UN.

Grab some popcorn to see the catcalls against the tyranny of transparency, and lawmakers daring to stand in the way of UN-White House schemes to subvert domestic law.

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BREAKING: Team Obama’s Abramoff-Style Scheme Exposed, Featuring the UN IPCC and Former Romney Advisor John Holdren

Monday, October 17th, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

CEI has learned of a UN plan recently put in place to hide official  correspondence on non-governmental accounts, which correspondence a federal inspector general has already confirmed are subject to FOIA. This ‘cloud’ serves as a dead-drop of sorts for discussions by U.S. government employees over the next report being produced by the scandal-plagued IPCC, which is funded with millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars.

Although this is seedy and unlawful at any time, it also goes in the ‘bad timing’ file. Or it’s good timing, depending on one’s perspective.

Just as a brand new book further exposes the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)(which scam I dissected here, and in more disturbing detail here), and on the heels of the weekend surprise of a 2005 memo showing President Obama’s cooling/warming/population zealot of a ‘science czar’ John Holdren is the kind of guy Mitt Romney turns to to develop his ‘environmental’ policies, we’ve exposed the Obama administration and IPCC have cooperated to subvert U.S. transparency laws, run domestically out of Holdren’s White House office.

With this morning’s Freedom of Information Act request, the explaining they have to do must begin by providing the taxpayer certain records regarding — including but not limited to user name and password — for a backchannel ‘cloud’ established to hide IPCC deliberations from FOIA, but thereby also seeking to undermine the Presidential Records Act (PRA) of 1978.

The IPCC, you will recall, is Al Gore’s co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. And the host over the years of numerous scandals involving fudged and twisted data, cut-and-pastes from student theses, popular magazine articles and green-group press releases and of course the infamous “hide the decline” in temperatures. This is not just one more scandal, however.

Until the Request is posted at CEI.org, consider the following:

* CEI’s FOIA request details how the UN informed participants that it was motivated by embarrassing releases of earlier discussions (“ClimateGate” key among them), and to circumvent the problem that national government transparency laws were posing the group.

* CEI reminds OSTP that this practice was described as “creat[ing] non-governmental accounts for official business”, “using the nongovernmental accounts specifically to avoid creating a record of the communications”, in a recent analogous situation involving lobbyist Jack Abramoff. CEI expects similar congressional and media outrage at this similar practice to evade the applicable record-keeping laws.

* This effort has apparently been conducted with participation — thereby direct assistance and enabling — by the Obama White House which, shortly after taking office, seized for Holdren’s office the lead role on IPCC work from the Department of Commerce. The plan to secretly create a FOIA-free zone was then implemented.

* This represents politically assisting the IPCC to enable UN, EU and U.S. bureaucrats and political appointees avoid official email channels for specific official work of high public interest, performed on official time and using government computers, away from the prying eyes of increasingly skeptical taxpayers.

* CEI also reminds OSTP of a similar, ongoing effort by the administration to claim that records on U.S. government computers belong to the UN IPCC, refusing to produce them under FOIA. This practice was affirmed in a report by the Department of Commerce’s Office of Inspector General earlier this year.

As talks resume next month to forge a successor to the failed Kyoto Protocol, CEI looks forward to OSTP ceasing this unlawful activity, and providing prompt access to the requested records so the taxpayer can know what they, and the IPCC, are up to.

So this morning we requested all relevant records under FOIA, including all records sitting on that server, as they all were provided to U.S. government employees for official purposes. This was filed with OSTP run by controversial ‘science czar” and, we now know, former Mitt Romney ‘climate’ advisor John Holdren. The taxpayer deserves to know about this coordinated effort between Holdren’s OSTP and the UN.

Possibly one Republican candidate will call in the next debate for ending US funding of the IPCC, now shown to be actively working (with the Obama White House) to subvert US law. Enough is enough is enough. Possibly Gov. Romney could defend Holdren and the IPCC.

In the meantime, we look for Rep. Henry Waxman’s outrage over Abramoff to prove it was also not political, and come down hard on the practice he so aggressively condemned and pursued, demanding preservation of records, threatening subpoenas, the whole works. With our request, that’s essentially what we’ve done, and we’d appreciate the company. You too, NPR.

Of course, it may not be of interest to the media because it only uncovers unlawful dealings to hide an effort impacting our entire economy, the premise for that “fundamental transformation” of America, with the sleazy lobbying operation being the UN. We’ll wait on OSTP’s response and hope for the best from the Hill and Republican candidates.

 

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Deutsche Bank, Your Conscience is On Line One

Friday, October 14th, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

So, Deutsche Bank reports that the increasing price of delivered electricity is prompting terrible consequences in “climate” policy leader the United Kingdom, such as moving one-quarter of households into fuel poverty (I have asked the author for a copy, which no story reporting on the report has provided).

They must be so proud. Keep reading.

The Financial Times’ coverage of this report has some nice charts including showing how this began in 2005. Which is when Europe’s policies to try and comply with its pet project, the Kyoto Protocol, came into effect. Take a look. It’s amazing.

Now, you should also know that Deutsche Bank is one of the biggest cheerleaders of these policies. They pimp for the movement I’ve noted they seem to have the German government on board in pushing for, ah, “new entrants” into the renewable energy scheme. The same kind Spain counted on before their own bubble went bust. Germany appears to be Spain, a year or two behind. I wonder if that means DB, too.

Worse, the global head of the Frankfurt-based bank’s Deutsche Asset Management Division gives interviews sounding like Al Gore on a bad day. That’s because ”he is one of the most vocal proponents of climate change investing on Wall Street, arguing that going green makes sense not only from an ethical standpoint, but also from a financial standpoint.”

He should read his firm’s own reports. But, of course, DB is heavily invested in the stuff, being based in a country that has gone whole-hog on windmills and particularly solar panels — Germany has spent more to (chuckle) “jump-start” the latter alone in the past decade, according to EuroStat figures, than they spent to bail out Greece. Oh, and Portugal. And Ireland. Combined.

Talking one’s own book isn’t unheard of. It’s the moral preening and failure of DB and journalists to square the rhetorical and financial circles when doing that which I would address.

Oh, and before you think the consequences are some far-off European malady, last year, “Construction did not begin on a single new coal-fired power plant in the United States for the second straight year.” But binge-away on Euro-style green nonsense, we did! Leaving a certain someone who would prefer you invest in the more expensive greenie stuff they’re invested in to crow in the same story, ”Coal is a dead man walkin’”. He could be describing the UK’s economy thanks to climate policies. I also recall something about our president claiming his objective to be seeing “electricity rates…necessarily skyrocket”. Swell.

We’ll see. High falutin’ firms like DB may spend a lot of money ensuring they’ve got access to policymakers, particularly those willing to push energy-scarcity (and, thereby, energy-poverty) policies. But things like — well, the above — have a funny way of earning consideration by the people the policymakers work for.

 

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Greens Occupy Wall Street, Indeed

Thursday, October 13th, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

So the trumpeted migration by green groups to join in solidarity with the anti-capitalist protests — which I’ve already noted was no such thing, given that the Greens and Wall Street agreed to occupy each other years ago in a Baptists-and-Bootleggers alliance promoting the global warming agenda — is even less an event than I supposed.

It seems that the suffering landlord helplessly aggrieved by this mess is actually part of the larger Obama-statist wealth-transferring complex just been handed a big old bag of taxpayer money for a windmill boondoggle — another of the Solyndra-style projects in that they do not exist for reasons of their economics or performance, that is, without political intervention.

As the clock expired on the loan guarantee program made famous by Solyndra, the Obama administration approved a $168.9 million loan guarantee for the Granite Reliable wind farm project. Its owner, Brookfield Asset Management (BAM), owns Brookfield Renewable Power, as well as Brookfield Office Properties, whose holdings include…wait for it … Zuccotti Park, where the “Occupy Wall Street” protests are centered.

My what a small, cozy and I might add expensive little world this is becoming. But to show you that these folks understand the concept of ROI, BAM spent over $300,000 lobbying in 2010, mostly for green energy stuff, through some lobbyist named Podesta.

These protesters are largely anti-capitalist, I’ll give them that. Crony Socialism is where it’s at.

 

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Greens Occupy Wall Street…Again

Friday, October 7th, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

OR, We Have Met the Enemy…

I’m not sure if this is artistic irony or infighting, with the unwashed membership of green groups fighting back against their establishment overlords, but this story, “Environmentalists Join The ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Fray”, is pretty darn hilarious.

While this soiled and spoiled mob may not have gotten the memo when recruited on campus, the shaggy movement depends upon big business to underwrite much of its advocacy, and most of its lobbying heft.

I learned this while sitting around a table with BP, Niagara Mohawk Power, American Gas Association and others, on behalf of Enron, in a coalition cooked up by Enron, and …the Union of Concerned Scientists and like-minded folks piling out of a Volkswagen (this was the summer of 1997, so the Prius was just being rolled out in Japan). This, my first outside meeting as Director of Federal Government Relations for Enron, was the beginning of the end of my uncomfortable three-week adventure in sleazy ‘green jobs’ and ‘global warming’ advocacy and Baptist-and-Bootlegger coalitions for the supposed free-market pioneer that, it turned out, was just another rent-seeker creating a movement to add value to their uneconomic wind (now GE Wind) and solar (now BP’s) ventures.

It was in the fancy offices of a New York firm. Goldman was Enron’s adviser on creating the market for selling carbon dioxide ration coupons.

So the love- or love-hate affair has been going on for some time. Here’s a nice taste of what the greenies would find upon occupying Wall Street. They’re among friends, having occupied — or been occupied by — Wall Street for some time.

 

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NASA’s James Hansen: One of Obama’s ‘Millionaire and Billionaire’…Bureaucrats?

Friday, October 7th, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

This most recent production out of NASA under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) noted at the Tatler here, in response to the American Tradition Institute’s FOIA request and now lawsuit seeking certain ethics-related records of NASA astronomer James Hansen, begs an interesting question:

How the heck is an astronomer making $180,000 per year at NASA one of those “millionaires and billionaires” President Obama keeps coming after — you know the ones, making $250,000 per year or more? Because we’ve found that he’s making that figure just on the side every year, from parties enamored of the way he uses his taxpayer-funded perch for activism, like getting media love for promiscuously swinging around Nazi analogies and chaining himself to the White House fence.

Possibly as entertaining as viewing his financial station this way is that his wealth arose during and sprang almost directly from the George W. Bush presidency, which he so clearly and forcefully reviled. To great acclaim and troubling outside…$upport.

The miracle is that he has continued generating so much income under Obama’s tenure. Mr. Hansen, what’s your secret?

Assuming all goes as the relevant laws appear to dictate is just and proper, we’ll ultimately find out. Word has it that there is interest on Capitol Hill in getting some answers on this latest stonewall by the most transparent administration in history.

 

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Actually, It’s Pretty Easy Being Green

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

Just a reminder that, as PJ Media wrote here, here and here among other places, the Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, at the time the Solyndra boondoggle was being rushed through around due diligence and other practices, was headed up by Cathy Zoi.

You know the one, who another FOIA revealed was the driving force behind DoE publishing an unprecedented (according to internal emails) ‘report’ trying to smear the Spanish study warning of what Obama’s policies would lead to, what with Obama having cited disastrous Spain as his model? Then, DoE worked with the American Wind Energy Association as their ‘cutout’ liaison with the Center for American Progress, and the Union of Concerned Scientists, to derail the attention being given to the expose’ which has been proved out by the Spanish government’s own internal documents to have been correct.

After developing quite a record of controversy she is now back in the private sector working for George Soros’s ‘green’ investment venture. Huh.

Just a little history to keep in mind as DoE’s deadline looms to comply with my September 2 request under the Freedom of Information Act seeking:

any and all record(s), defined here as correspondence and any memoranda, analysis, other communications cited therein or attached, which were created, received and/or held by DoE’s Office of Congressional & Intergovernmental Affairs, or Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which were sent to or from any of the following:
1) the office(s) of Congressman Fortney “Pete” Stark [integral at the time to President Obama's push to get the touchy penalty/tax issue finessed in the House, in whose district Solyndra's utterly unnecessary 'Fabrication 2" facility was built despite Fab 1...hey, there's got to be some explanation for why this happened, and it's not like votes weren't being, ah, courted, particularly among influential legislation-writing chairmen];
2) the company Solyndra;
3) [enumerated individuals and entities identified in public records as being paid representatives of and advocates for Solyndra before the federal government]

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Utility acknowledges millions in ratepayer charges to pay for green gestures

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

From ClimateWire (subscription required):

Nuclear operators announce offset purchase (07/06/2011)
NEW YORK — The operator of two upstate New York nuclear power plants yesterday announced a purchase of carbon offsets in the state.

Entergy Corp., a power generator in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and elsewhere, says it has completed the purchase of slightly less than 35,000 tons’ worth of greenhouse gas emission reduction credits certified by the nonprofit American Carbon Registry (ACR). The company runs the controversial Indian Point nuclear power plant near New York City along with the James A. Fitzpatrick nuclear power plant on the southeastern shore of Lake Ontario [NB: to clarify this emphasis, the utility actually gets less than half its production from nuclear, with half coming from gas and coal].

The company says it bought the offset credits to boost its environmental credentials, using money from its designated environmental initiatives fund….

“We first set up this environmental initiatives fund back in 2001. We funded it at a level of about $5 million a year for a …[total of] $20 million…” (emphases added)

So. $20 million taken out of the hides of ratepayers, and that means the economy, in a posturing won’t you please love me scheme cooked up with the greens — that is, agreed by no one who actually paid the tab — for ‘green’ posing.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg that is already being inflicted on the economy, before Obama’s ‘other ways to skin that cat’ kick in. Incidentally, Entergy, like AEP, and Duke Energy, Exelon and some other utilities desirous of a state-managed wealth transfer are behind the agenda to mandate ever more of this, but designed (by them) to line their pockets instead of just paying for their posing.
So, keep admitting these things, my rent-seeking crony capitalist friends. Keep talking. To invoke a favorite greenie phrase, it is inevitable that those whose pockets you are picking for these schemes will demand common sense responses like, say, that their lawmakers agree to ban the practice of passing such stunts through to the ratepayer.

You want to fund some ‘green’ scheme, or build a bunch of windmills with their extraordinarily expensive transmission schemes on top and then an otherwise redundant gas plant for (chuckle) ‘backup’? Great. But you can only pass through to the ratepayer what it would have cost to build something that works. The waste and folly all comes out of your and your shareholders’ hide. At which point we will ask, still interested in these schemes? And the answer — well, on second thought, not so much — will put an end to this economic drain on the path to far worse.

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WaPo risibly telegraphs coming Obama defense

Monday, July 4th, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

By an editorial Sunday the Washington Post reaffirms that it has a hard time with those of us who object to EPA’s climatically meaningless — according to everyone — ‘global warming’ regulations targeting the U.S. energy supply which are transparency the administration’s ‘other way to skin the cat’ in its war on coal (you do remember this, right?).

And that’s because WaPo elites also hate abundance providing wealth and comfort to those horrid others. But what’s so absurd about today’s foray is its pointing to EPA says so for the argument that EPA’s Power Grab won’t cost much.
The Wall Street Journal (and Frederic Bastiat) took to task EPA’s job creation philosophy of destruction-is-good-because-you-hire-people-to-clean-it-u. Hint: Gee the economy stinks; if only a tsunami would roll in is its logical conclusion. But then WaPo turns to Center for American Progress as its second source.

Huh. PJ readers may recall how we already, and thoroughly, exposed how the Obama administration uses CAP to support — in scandalous fashion, jointly with rent-seeking businesses — and sometimes even provide, its work product. Sad.

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Pickens: ‘I bought this bill!’

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

From Politico:

PICKENS PICKS UP SUPPORTERS — Oklahoma Republican John Sullivan says more than 200 businesses have signed onto his statement urging Congress to pass legislation (H.R. 1380) that would codify T. Boone Pickens’s plan to use federal funds to subsidize natural gas vehicles, including Chrysler, UPS and Apache. Conservative groups have convinced more than a dozen House members to drop their sponsorships of the bill, but 183 members have elected to keep their names on it. The statement and list: http://1.usa.gov/kEa6y6

I ran into a senior aide to a Republican Member in the past week who told me that Pickens claimed to his boss “I bought this bill!” The next day the Member in question then volunteered to me that he was indeed on the receiving end of the outburst.

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The pain in Spain has not gotten into the greens’ brains

Friday, June 3rd, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is in Spain:

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is in Spain today, meeting with leaders of that country’s energy industry and participating in the U.S.-Spain Council Business Forum. He is also set to meet with Repsol, the Spanish national oil and gas company.

Maybe: he’s seen the future and nearly four fifths of it works. (20+% unemployment)

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Team Obama to push back anti-energy regulations in favor of politics; ‘Brownerites’ at EPA Steam

Friday, June 3rd, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

Certain signs too detailed to mention here indicate that the White House is indeed being run already by the re-elect team, and Left-liberal constituencies are being tossed overboard, for the time being, one at a time. Word is that the greens are next, in the form of one and maybe two of their backdoor cap-n-trade energy rationing regulations being put on the shelf until there is no chance of the costs manifesting themselves too greatly (the uncertainty is already pinching some industries) to the point that they are certain political liabilities.

Plus, word is David Plouffe’s idea is that so long as coal isn’t prodded to finally organize and adopt  a fight-or-die stance, and utilities which might largely sit this one out aren’t encouraged by administration zeal and inflexibility to weigh in, against the re-elect, things look much better for Obama.

Now, in the face of some new evidence, consider this prescient call from the Cooler Heads Digest of May 20th which also provides necessary context:

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WH personnel move sparks questions

Friday, June 3rd, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

From Politico’s Morning Energy:

WHITE HOUSE PERSONNEL MOVE - Kathy Ruemmier, a former prosecutor of Enron executives, is taking over as the White House principal deputy counsel to the president. She replaces Bob Bauer, who is leaving to become general counsel for the Democratic National Committee and Obama’s reelection campaign. Fuel Fix: http://bit.ly/jS1I1U

Hmmm. This could be good or bad for Obama’s insistent plans to impose energy poverty on us Americans he views as so gluttonous — many aspects of which agenda have already been put on hold or are in the process of being put on hold to delay the impacts until after the re-elect . This means that, if she was a diligent investigator, Ms. Ruemmier is someone who knows the ins and outs of the genesis of the Obama energy and economic policy. True story. I was in the room. If briefly. As in so many other areas even remotely associated with the ‘climate’ agenda and industry, dissenting viewpoints were not enthusiastically received.

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Chris Christie presser to make ‘climate’ news?

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

At least one source who claims to know tells me that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a rising star with conservatives if with some unsettling blemishes on his ‘global warming’ record, is going to make some news on that front this week. It could come at his 11 a.m. Eastern press conference for which, at this moment, still no topic has been announced.

Christie took office having voiced his skepticism on climate alarmism as candidate, also inheriting participation in a cap-and-trade scheme among all Northeastern states called ‘Reggie’ (RGGI, for Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative). It’s akin to the scheme that Jon Huntsman roped Utah into, now roped around his own ankles as he prepares a run for the Republican nomination (compounded by the disingenuous attempt to deflect, of ‘that was five years ago’ under different economic circumstances, which elides the fact that he came to Washington to pitch it to President-elect Barack Obama as a great national idea, in the throes of the economic downturn — an enthusiasm that obviously impressed the incoming chief).

So, New Jersey’s scheme wasn’t Christie’s doing, but he gave no succor to those demanding various states withdraw from it. First, his administration continues a legal challenge to requests for documents reflecting how much the utilities that lobbied RGGI into place are making off the electricity rate payer’s back. And the plan was, after all, expressly one of lying in wait to cash in on a national cap-and-trade scheme, having accumulated ‘early action’ credits to sell the poor saps in the coal-fired heartland suddenly in need. And a national plan is dead for the foreseeable future.

Christie could have treaded water by claiming he didn’t start the fire but, now that he was getting the state’s books in order, the new tax would have to stay around for a while longer.

Instead, he got tongues wagging by recently telling a reporter that his initial skepticism reflected a ‘not fully formed opinion’, and that he was about to meet with some activists with advanced science degrees, including among their leadership a Castro toady.

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Greens, reds and government union cheeseheads

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

As greens converge to join their fellow comrades in Madison and state capitals elsewhere, there has been little mention of why the former are in solidarity with the latter. But of course the same fellow who initiated the first collective bargaining for public employee unions, then-Gov. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, also then started Earth Day as Sen. Nelson a few years later, as you can see in the flier here.

So, you see, it clearly, really is coincidence that he chose V.I. Lenin’s birthday, April 22, for that struggle to declare solidarity with the newest victim of the horrors of capitalism, ‘the environment’, after it became apparent both that this was no longer the 1920s, and what unions were really doing. Our friends so addicted to argumentum ad hominem are then by definition well-schooled at changing the subject. Now is a good time to remember that.

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Greenpeace: Spain’s green jobs programs were just too darn successful

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

It seems that Team Soros has not given up on trying to rehabilitate the ‘green jobs’ success stories the White House used to cite over and over as their model for the ‘fundamental transformation’… until they didn’t. Though the White House decided the embarrassment factor after being outed on these economic train wrecks was too high, our comrades just can’t give up the ghost (what is it with them romanticizing their Spain campaigns? Is the new battle cry for reunions to be they were ‘premature green jobbers!’ So many parallels, so little time…).

So Greenpeace has come out saying Spain was too a great success. And their cheering section has come out saying…well, nothing. As regards the former, well, IER has just posted an enjoyable fisking (spot the 100+% figure). As regards the kidz at Think Progress’s foray, well, spot the substance. Hint: there isn’t any. Just promiscuous swinging around of ‘Koch’ and ‘right-wing’. Not one substantive point challenged. Because history has occurred since the first exposé, and all it managed to do was confirm said exposé.

In Spain I think they call that QED.

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The Nation preps a stakeout to pimp global warming alarmism

Monday, February 14th, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

On Tuesday, The Nation and its camera-toting minions will be staking out the U.S. Chamber, Fox News, and surely some groups like CEI in seeking some media hooks as they pimp a book by one of their favorite global warming alarmists, and co-incidentally advocating the president’s budget push and Senate hearing seeking massive increases in already bloated budgets for climatically meaningless “green jobs”/”clean energy economy” schemes.

Students of the president know these as his “other ways to skin the cat” now that cap-and-trade imploded, bringing down a bunch of elected Dems with it.

The Nation’s objective: an entirely unpredictable bout of …ta da, name-calling. You’re a “climate crank”, you see, if you don’t care for their agenda. But, as I note here, that doesn’t withstand a moment’s scrutiny. And that would be a discussion worth having. Had their expensive, decades-long campaign pushing political science also not imploded with ClimateGate.

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Quick! Get the White House to invest in some foreign press subscriptions…

Friday, January 28th, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

From the Globe and Mail:

Austerity pulling plug on Europe’s green subsidies

The Spanish and Germans are doing it. So are the French. The British might have to do it. Austerity-whacked Europe is rolling back subsidies for renewable energy as economic sanity makes a tentative comeback. Green energy is becoming unaffordable and may cost as many jobs as it creates. But the real victims are the investors who bought into the dream of endless, clean energy financed by the taxpayer. They forgot that governments often change their minds.

Funny, I thought I just heard something about how we need to spen…sorry, invest…many (more) billions because these things are just super.

Possibly that last sentence has something to do with the panicked push for Uncle Sucker to do this, too, bailing out some bursting bubbles. Come to think of it, I did see the German Embassy buying full-page ads in the WSJ, and Deutsche Bank’s practice group head on a media blitz talking his own book around the same time…

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Brown-out on Browner Testimony

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

Controversial ‘energy and environment czar’ Carol Browner, a former commissioner of the Socialist International who was appointed to a non-existent position to avoid Senate confirmation testimony, is stepping down from her post.

Rumors that this move is calculated to avoid testifying under oath to a House oversight committee are of course being circulated by people who know precisely what they are talking about.

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EPA Senator sellout

Monday, January 10th, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

Some eyebrows were raised late last week on word that a senior Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee had told people of a curiously early agreement involving an add-on to the expected Spring Continuing Resolution funding the government for the rest of FY 2011. That is, inclusion of Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s two-year delay of the Obama EPA’s devastating set of ‘global warming’ regulations. These rules that just took effect January 2, described by the regulated community simply as “the train wreck”, are the administration’s main ‘other way to skin the cat’ of the failed cap-and-trade legislation.

If this pact supposedly struck by this senator from the Tennessee Valley is true, by begging a legislative deal to replace cap-and-trade as opposed to killing the regulatory enterprise, this would stitch-up a win for the Democrats, taking the wind out of the sails of an effort by House Republicans to return the Clean Air Act to the way it was interpreted for 35 years before a 5-4 Supreme Court unleashed the current regulatory crisis (on April Fool’s Day, 2007). That opinion in Mass. v. EPA said that EPA can regulate anything as an air pollutant under the Clean Air Act, including pure oxygen. This will disappoint many House Republicans and Tea Partiers.

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