Thursday, September 3, 2009

"The Front Fell Off!"

Our friends at Act Green are covering an enormous oil spill off the coast of Australia. The amount of oil spill covers an area the size of Delaware, and threatens a diverse marine ecosystem and an endangered reef.

And, before anyone makes a false claim of outdated technology, the rig that spilled the oil was was built in 2007.

Depressed? Maybe this classic send-up of Big Oil's attempts to defendspills will cheer you up.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What, John Boehner (And His Tan) Don't Draw a Crowd Anymore?

Today, the anti-clean energy smear machine rolled into Ohio State for an "Energy Summit" that included a long list of characters: GOP Reps. Mike Pence, Bob Latta, Jean Schmidt, Steve Austria and Pat Tiberi, as well as Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Brent Porteus from the Ohio Farm Bureau.

They even brought in R?S? fave House Minority Leader John Boehner.

Well, judging from this photo (courtesy of our friends at Ohio LCV), the speakers themselves could probably have beaten the crowd in a tug-of-war:


We could use this opportunity to re-hash everything we've said about what a sham these events are, but sometimes you've just gotta let a picture speak for itself.

Chamber Reverses, Says Warming Is Real (Subject to Change)

Here's a shocker: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is regretting its decision to repeatedly draw an analogy between its call for a "trial" in which a judge would decide where global warming is real and the 1926 Scopes Trial that challenged the validity of evolution as a legitimate scientific theory.

In a post on the National Journal's energy and environment "Experts Panel" page (insert your own pithy comment on whether the Chamber of Commerce is a source of climate expertise), the Chamber's Bill Kovacs, Vice President for Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs, writes:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is not denying or otherwise challenging the science behind global climate change. Many of the news articles on our petition the past few days made that claim. They are not correct.

My “Scopes monkey” analogy was inappropriate and detracted from my ability to effectively convey the Chamber’s position on this important issue.
That's funny, because I could have sworn I recalled Kovacs saying that the Chamber wanted to do exactly that: challenge the science of global warming in court. (Via the Los Angeles Times)
"It would be evolution versus creationism," said William Kovacs, the chamber's senior vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs. "It would be the science of climate change on trial."
The Huffington Post's Josh Nelson tracked down the responses of others on the Expert Panel, and may we say there's an open invitation to write on this blog. Thanks to the National Wildlife Federation's Larry Schweiger for this gem:
You need a secret decoder ring to unravel Bill Kovacs' illogical pretzel in his National Journal blog, as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launches the most ambitious effort in years to undermine scientific progress on climate change while simultaneously claiming to be a believer in that same science.
Schweiger continues:
Here's the secret to understanding the two different faces of the Chamber on global warming: Mr. Kovacs and the Chamber leadership will do anything to stop legislation and regulations that are aimed to rein in runaway greenhouse gas emissions, and they have resorted to an anti-science agenda that is not supported by most of the Chamber’s own business members.
Given Mr. Kovacs's (and his organization's) impressive ability to talk out of both sides of their mouth, may we suggest to our readers that you steer clear of activities like this with the Chamber's duplicitous Vice President.

Monday, August 31, 2009

NAM Falsehoods Funded By Supposed Climate Change Reform Advocates

As we've previously noted, oil giants Shell, BP America and ConocoPhillips are playing both sides of the clean energy debate, funding the American Petroleum Institute's (API) phony "Energy Citizens" rallies with their membership dues while also reaping the PR benefits of their membership in the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) call for strong climate legislation that includes a carbon cap.

With last week's National Association of Manufacturers' (NAM) multi-million dollar ad buy opposing clean energy and climate change legislation, a similar conflict of interest has arisen. General Electric, Caterpillar and Boston Scientific Corporations boast memberships in both NAM and USCAP (as do our friends at Shell and BP, to whom evidently memberships are collectible items).

Which puts these corporations in a bit of a pickle considering NAM and USCAP's starkly different objectives. As members of USCAP, the above corporations' logos appear endorsing a report that supports climate change legislation (PDF):
In our view, the climate change challenge, like other challenges our country has confronted in the past, will create more economic opportunities than risks for the U.S. economy. Indeed, addressing climate change will require innovation and products that drive increased energy efficiency, creating new markets. This innovation will lead directly to increased U.S. competitiveness, as well as reduced reliance on energy from foreign sources. Our country will thus benefit through increased energy security and an improved balance of trade. We believe that a national mandatory policy on climate change will provide the basis for the United States to assert world leadership in environmental and energy technology innovation, a national characteristic for which the United States has no rival. Such leadership will assure U.S. competitiveness in this century and beyond.
Yet the hefty membership dues that the companies pay to belong to API and NAM are also funding ads claiming the following:
Congress' cap-and-trade program is a tax that will cost up to 2.4 million U.S. jobs and force more businesses to close their doors. More taxes? What is Congress thinking?
Of course, that job loss number is bogus, coming from a study NAM itself conducted in association with the right-wing front group American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF). You may recall that the ACCF is conducting its own smear tour, complete with Exxon-funded Bush cronies. Maybe that's why their numbers contradict everything the real economists over at the Political Economy Research Institute have said, including that a clean energy bill would help create 1.7 million new jobs while weaning us off of foreign oil that just keeps getting pricier.

You can find a full debunking of the bogus ACCF/NAM "study" here, courtesy our friends at NRDC Switchboard. Guess which side every non-partisan analysis agrees with.

Which leaves one question: if Duke Energy can stand up to NAM, why can't the above organizations, too?