Monday, September 21, 2009

Haley Barbour's Humpty Dumpty World

Often it seems like the fight for clean energy legislation is against groups and individuals physically unable to tell the truth.

Take the most recent fairy tale, reported here yesterday, that used fuzzy math to analyze a non-existent proposal and concluded that clean energy and climate legislation would be cost prohibitive, facts be darned.

Now the follow up gets even crazier. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, in his capacity as chair of the Republican Governors Association, is hosting a webinar entitled "Energy 101." They missed the subhead, "taught by Big Oil".

Gov. Barbour's background isn't so much in energy as it is in oil. Big Oil might as well have squatter's rights in his bank account. According to our friends at the Wonk Room:
• The oil, gas and utility industries were major contributor to his Mississippi gubernatorial campaigns, providing over $1.8 million in campaign cash. [National Institute on Money in State Politics, Accessed 7/2/09]

• According to the Center for Responsive Politics, coal companies and electric utilities lavished over half a million dollars on Barbour’s firm during his last two years as CEO and chairman, in 1998 and 1999. After taking time off to work on advisory committees for the presidential campaign of George W. Bush, Barbour returned to the firm in 2001. With the addition of new clients, including from the oil & gas industry, the firm made over a million dollars a year in dirty energy profits by the time he left again for his 2003 gubernatorial run, with $2.24 million in total for 2001-2002. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 7/2/09]
Some time has gone by since 2003. Maybe Gov. Barbour has changed his mind on clean energy, like many others have upon realizing the urgency on the matter. Not so much.
Barbour hosted a Southern Company party for lobbyists at the 2008 Republican National Convention. Southern was the top spending special interest that attempted to influence the debate over House the American Clean Energy and Security Act. With a force totaling 63 lobbyists, Southern was nearly twice as high as any other company. Its coal fired power plants emit 172 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. [Politico, 8/12/08; Center for Public Integrity, 7/1/09; IPS News, 11/16/07]
Gov. Barbour once called global warming a "radical fringe issue." He even referred to the regulation of carbon dioxide pollution as "eco-extremism."

And it says something when you try to convince the Bush Administration to pursue your agenda and the Supreme Court just makes fun of you.
• The Dallas Morning News reported that “Within weeks of taking office, Vice President Dick Cheney heard from Haley Barbour – a former Republican Party chairman and utility company lobbyist and now the governor of Mississippi – who urged the administration to reverse the Clinton administration…Southern [Company] and several other utilities faced federal lawsuits filed in 1999 by the Clinton administration, accusing the companies of failing to install expensive pollution-control devices when modifying their generating plants.” [Dallas Morning News, 8/30/04]

• The Bush administration pursued this agenda, only to be blocked by the U.S. Court of Appeals. It found that "only in a Humpty Dumpty world" would the Administration’s changes be allowed. [US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Opinions, 3/17/06]
Certainly all the king's horses and all the king's men could find anything, but endless lies coming from this Big Oil puppet either.

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