Thursday, June 09, 2005


Another Piece of the Puzzle...

falls into place.

The controversies of the Bush administration are many. The lies, the fear, the lies, the propaganda, the lies, I could go on and on. But one of the first of these controversies was the administration's decision to withdraw from the Kyoto Treaty back in March, 2001.

To say that Bush hasn't been a very good friend to the environment would indeed be an understatement. His ties to the oil industry are well known and the oil companies would bear the brunt of any legislation to cut greenhouse gasses. Therefore, Bush has shied away from policies that would make emissions control mandatory such as this one would and has instead endorsed a variety of voluntary programs that would allow industries to police themselves. The old fox guarding the henhouse plan, so to speak. So when it was revealed in the NYTimes recently that a Bush aide has been editing government climate reports to downplay the significance of global warming, it was really no big surprise. After all, if the public thinks there's no global warming then there's no need for Kyoto. Get it?

Well, here's where things get complicated. Through a Freedom of Information Act request in 2003, Greenpeace obtained an e-mail to a Phil Cooney from a Myron Ebell. Ebell, on behalf of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, was informing Cooney, a senior official at the White House Council for Environmental Quality, about the CEI's plans to discredit an EPA study on climate change through a lawsuit and possibly force the resignation of then EPA director Christine Todd Whitman. The e-mail starts out by saying "Thanks for calling and asking for our help." So it would appear that Phil Cooney was trying to discredit the report himself prior to the intervention from Ebell and the CEI. As it turns out, this Phil Cooney is the same Phillip A. Cooney who is now accused of altering governmental climate reports.

Stay with me here.

Myron Ebell is on staff at CEI along with a Roger Bate, a Michael Greve and a Joel Schwartz. Ironically, these same three men are also on the list of Scholars and Fellows at the American Enterprise Institute of which Lynne Cheney (yes, that Lynne Cheney) is also a fellow. At the same time, the AEI's Board of Trustee's lists one Lee R. Raymond as Vice Chairman. This is the same Lee R. Raymond who is listed as the CEO of the Exxon Mobil Corporation who funds the aforementioned Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Now you might be saying to yourself, "So what?" Well, here's so what. Remember Kyoto?

To summarize, Exxon Mobil pressured the White House to withdraw from the Kyoto Treaty on global warming. Exxon Mobil's CEO is on the Board of Directors at the AEI who's Fellows include Bate, Greve, and Schwartz who are also on staff at Exxon Mobil-funded CEI whom Phillip A. Cooney contacted for help in discrediting an EPA study on global climate change. Cooney then went on to alter subsequent governmental climate change documents to downplay the significance of global warming. Everybody get that? No global warming equals no mandatory emissions controls which equals no extra financial burdens for the oil industry which equals bigger revenues. I think it's clear where this administration's loyalties lie. The world can go to hell as long as "big bidness" can continue to make money.

For those of us who have been convinced that George W. Bush's global warming free environmental policy has been guided by big business, in particular the oil industry, this is just another piece in the ever evolving puzzle. I'm sure CNN will get right on this.

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