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More on Big Energy’s “Grassroots” Efforts

August 19, 2010

The last two posts focused on the efforts of Big Coal‘s and Big Oil’s efforts to organize “grassroots” campaigns to stop increased regulation of risky enterprises (e.g. Mountain Top Removal). Millions are being pumped into campaigns aimed at convincing workers that environmental regulation will take away huge numbers of jobs. This is very effective given high unemployment and this week’s report that applications for unemployment compensation is again on the rise. We saw the same kind of pitch being used in the 1970’s.

We applaud Center for American Progress (CAP) for its campaign to stop a California ballot initiative aimed at axing the state’s landmark clean energy law, AB-32. The Tea Party is heavily engaged in the initiative. The campaign against AB-32 is being funded s by Billionaire David Koch, owner of Koch Industries (a major energy company). His company (heavily vested in oil refineries, asphalt and other energy industries) would clearly benefit if the initiative passes. The TV ads definitely play up job fears.

Koch previously donated big sums to climate change deniers. For more go to CAP video and see for yourself.

It is critical that progressives support stimulus and green energy programs and proposals designed to create jobs.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ron Kilmartin permalink
    August 20, 2010 1:04 am

    Dr. Cole concludes his rant with “It is critical that progressives support stimulus and green energy programs and proposals designed to create jobs.” Well I am not a progressive since I do not have my head in the sand, and maybe my comment is not welcome here. I’ll be as brief as possible.

    Climategate and hundreds of investigations have shown that CO2 is not causing global warming (it is also a very clean gas). Green businesses and jobs that depend on the CO2 scam for justification are ultimately doomed to failure. The sooner folks with this bent realize their program is founded in mid air, the sooner they can reconsider and redirect their efforts to real endeavors that can stand on their own and that are not dependent on robbing Joe Sixpack in taxes, subsidies and high prices.

    • Henry S. Cole, Ph.D. permalink*
      August 20, 2010 9:29 am

      We publish all serious comments, even those we disagree with – such as Mr. Kilmartin’s. We don’t know his scientific credentials but his views on climate change are clearly out of sync with the overwhelming majority of atmospheric scientists and international organizations that conduct research. As we point so-called “climate deniers” have been funded by big energy companies.

      As far as carbon dioxide; its a gas that is vital to life; its one of the basic inputs that all green plants use to produce organic matter on which life depends. The process is photosynthesis and its byproduct is the oxygen we breathe.

      The problem with CO2 is not whether its clean or not, but its capacity to absorb and trap heat in the lower atmosphere. The massive burning of fossil fuels has resulted in a substantial increase in the CO2 levels in the atmosphere which explains why global temperatures on the rise and why glaciers are melting in many parts of the world. What is less certain is the impact that the rise in CO2 is having in the apparent rash of severe whether (e.g. extended drought in parts of Australia, terrible flooding in Pakistan, etc.).

      As far as subsidies, Mr. Kilmartin will be interested to know that conservative Senators recently killed a measure by (progressive) Senator Bernie Sanders to end some $35 billion dollars in subsidies to big oil companies. See:

      We also find the term “Joe Sixpack” offensive. It suggests that working people in America have little better to do than guzzle beer. It also discounts the importance of women. We suspect that most people who use the term are not blue collar workers.

      In any event we appreciate all views and the opportunity for dialogue.

      See also Moth Incarnate’s (Witty and informative Blog from Australia) comment on the debate.

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