The Spectacle Blog

Bring Up a Petition, Then Rule on It

Imagine lobbyists for the Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Nature Conservancy controlled an EPA rulemaking panel that would decide whether a petition to cap greenhouse gas emissions sponsored by the U.S. Climate Action Partnership -- an alliance that includes all three aforementioned environoia groups -- would become law. Wouldn't every activist with a cause love to have such an arrangement?

By on 3.11.10 | 4:28PM

Imagine lobbyists for the Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Nature Conservancy controlled an EPA rulemaking panel that would decide whether a petition to cap greenhouse gas emissions sponsored by the U.S. Climate Action Partnership -- an alliance that includes all three aforementioned environoia groups -- would become law. Wouldn't every activist with a cause love to have such an arrangement?

The equivalent of that is what's transpiring in New Mexico, where the state Environmental Improvement Board is considering a rule that would cap CO2 emissions at 25 percent of 1990 levels. As New Mexico Watchdog reporter Jim Scarantino has written in a series of articles, the majority of EIB members -- including (and especially) its chairman, Gregory Green -- have conflicts of interest because they represent (and are paid by) activist groups who jointly brought the petition before the EIB.

Last week the Rio Grande Foundation's Paul Gessing (NM Watchdog is a project of the Albuquerque-based conservative think tank) testified before the EIB and challenged members Green, Gay Dillingham and James Gollin to recuse themselves from hearing the petition:

Gessing told the EIB he that the very integrity of the process, aside from the merits of the issue, was undermined because “there was more than a reasonable basis to question the impartiality and fairness” of these members of the EIB in considering this petition. Those questions arise from financial and employment ties between Green and the petitioner New Energy Economy and his representation as a lobbyist on energy and environmental issues for four parties to the NEE peitition who have hired him through the Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy. Gollin and Dillingham are, respectively, an officer and director of organizations that are allied with NEE in promoting the very same emissions cap they are being asked to impose upon New Mexico  as members of the EIB.

And just look at the faces of Green, Dillingham and Gollin as Gessing criticizes their oversight of this dog-and-pony show:

Adding insult to injury, Green's group stacked their literature at a table where members of the public were required to sign in for the hearing. The literature promoted a lunch for petition supporters paid for by Green's New Energy Economy. Afterward, in the comments section of Scarantino's report, Green made a feeble effort to show fairness by offering to let Rio Grande put materials out for public consumption.

Send to Kindle

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article