Monday, July 27, 2009

Back In The Stalls Of Congress

Among the most talked about political sagas in recent years is that of former Senator Larry Craig (ID). Mr. Craig retired last year after serving 28 years representing Idaho in Congress following his 2007 arrest in men's bathroom stall at the Minneapolis- St. Paul International airport on suspicion of lewd conduct. Following his retirement, it seemed Mr. Craig wanted to put the ordeal, as well as the halls of Congress, behind him. But it appears Mr. Craig is returning to his old stomping grounds, this time as an energy lobbyist.  And we'll give you a hint: he won't be helping our efforts to pass energy and climate change legislation. Shocking, huh?

Anne Mulkern of E&E News has the story:
Former Sen. Larry Craig is back in the halls of Congress, this time as a consultant focused on energy.The Idaho Republican has started a firm, New West Strategies, with his former chief of staff, Michael Ware."We provide strategic advice, guidance, and advocacy to companies, trade associations, and other clients on a wide range of legislative and regulatory issues," the firm's Web site says.It describes Craig as "a forceful advocate for conservative, common-sense solutions to our nation's problems."Mr. Craig, bringing his "common-sense" approach to his new firm, already has four clients.
As E&E News reports, his firm is affiliated with National Environmental Strategies, a large lobbying firm with clients such as the American Gas Association and American Petroleum Institute (API), the trade groups for the natural gas and oil industries. API, in particular, shills for such climate change meddlers as (you guessed it) ExxonMobil.

Of course, our favorite API tale involves a video they produced and distributed through the National Science Teachers Association, entitled "You Can't Be Cool Without Fuel," a film all about the benefits of oil. In 1998, an API memo was leaked to the media and explains the logic behind their educational masterpiece:
Informing teachers/students about uncertainties in climate science will begin to erect barriers against further efforts to impose Kyoto-like measures in the future.
The video's opening line: "You're not going to believe this, but everything I have that's really cool comes from oil!"

You're right, API, we don't believe it. We don't have to tell you that this probably won't be the last you hear of newly minted Big Oil lobbyist Larry Craig.