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Climate Action Bah-Humbuggers to Meet Today

by Published on

A rogue’s gallery of carbon-based industry reps and climate denialists are meeting today at the Capitol. Make no mistake: This is part of a growing Astroturf effort to derail congressional action on climate change, similar to the campaign to kill health care reform.

The sad thing is, the “Cap & Trade Summit” is sponsored by three state agencies, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas Public Utility Commission. They have no shame.

Take a look at some of the speakers on the schedule for today. Briefly:

Karen Campbell – The Heritage Foundation: Exxon and other fossil fuel companies have given millions to the Heritage Foundation in support of this right-wing group’s efforts to confuse the public about climate science.

Margo Thorning – American Council for Capital Formation: An Exxon-funded anti-tax group that protects Big Business and has been actively protesting action on climate change at least since the Kyoto Protocol.

Kathleen White – Texas Public Policy Foundation: White is a former TCEQ commissioner and climate change denialist who now spends her days writing commentaires against the Waxman-Markey bill for the corporatist TPPF. White’s writings borrow liberally from “studies” produced by Exxon-funded groups.

Who else?

Repsentatives from Valero, the Texas Association of Manufacturers, Devon Energy Corporation, the Texas Oil & Gas Association, the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, Texas Westmoreland Coal Co…. and coal-intensive utilites AEP, TXU, NRG, El Paso Electric, and Luminant.

Finally, at the last panel session, the taxpayer-sponsored summit allows some folks to speak who offer a modicum of balance, though three of them still hail from industry:

*Michael Webber ‐ Professor UT Department of Mechanical Engineering and Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy*Paul Sadler ‐ The Wind Coalition*Bob Avant – Program Director Texas AgriLife Research Texas A&M University*Robert Webb ‐ Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association *Barbara Budde – Catholic Diocese of Austin *Tom “Smitty” Smith – Public Citizen

I don’t think an objective supporter can look at this line-up and can conclude anything other than this is an orchestrated effort to weaken the Waxman-Markey bill.

In any case, I’ve carved out a couple hours to attend the event. Look for a video and blog post later today.

Forrest Wilder, a native of Wimberley, Texas, is associate editor of the Observer. Forrest specializes in environmental reporting and runs the “Forrest for the Trees” blog. Forrest has appeared on Democracy Now!, The Rachel Maddow Show and numerous NPR stations. His work has been mentioned by The New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, Time magazine and many other state and national publications. Other than filing voluminous open records requests, Forrest enjoys fishing, kayaking, gardening and beer-league softball. He holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin.