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The White House As A Big Lobbying Firm


Guess who's editing those government climate reports? Thomas Friedman writes in The New York Times:

Sometimes you read something about this administration that is just so shameful it takes your breath away. For me, that was the March 20 article in this paper detailing how a House committee had just released documents showing “hundreds of instances in which a White House official who was previously an oil industry lobbyist edited government climate reports to play up uncertainty of a human role in global warming or play down evidence of such a role.”

The official, Philip A. Cooney, left government in 2005, after his shenanigans were exposed in The Times, and was immediately hired by, of course, Exxon Mobil. Before joining the White House, he was the “climate team leader” for the American Petroleum Institute, the main oil industry lobby arm.

The Times article, by Andrew Revkin and Matthew Wald, noted that Mr. Cooney said his past work opposing restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions on behalf of the oil industry had “no bearing” on his actions at the White House. “When I came to the White House,” he testified, “my sole loyalties were to the president and his administration.” (How about loyalty to scientific method?) Mr. Cooney, who has no scientific background, said he had based his editing on what he had seen in good faith as the “most authoritative and current views of the state of scientific knowledge.”

Let’s see, of all the gin joints. Of all the people the Bush team would let edit its climate reports, we have a guy who first worked for the oil lobby denying climate change, with no science background, then went back to work for Exxon. Does it get any more intellectually corrupt than that? Is there something lower that I’m missing?

Posted by aalkon at March 29, 2007 11:49 AM


The chimneys in the picture look like they're just putting out steam. Of course, something is probably burning to make the heat to produce the steam, but don't we all just love to hate a picture!

Posted by: Norman at March 29, 2007 3:58 AM

Hmmm...good point!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 29, 2007 6:57 AM

I remember reading about this stuff quite a while ago. It's odd that Friedman's writing about something that is essentially old news. It's been clear for years that the Bush Administration is a partly-owned subsidiary of the oil industry, and its other major stakeholders, such as the Christianist movement, don't have dog in this fight. Is anyone surprised by this?

Speaking of Friedman - I'm about halfway through The World is Flat right now. So far, I'd give it a pretty strong recommendation to those interested in some of the big economic issues of our times.

Posted by: justin case at March 29, 2007 9:00 AM

I think global warming and terrorism are both used as scare tactics that dont allow people to form a good opinion.

Posted by: PurplePen at March 29, 2007 11:22 AM

That picture looks like something out of the old Soviet Union.

Posted by: doombuggy at March 29, 2007 9:29 PM

It's a beautiful picture.

We all love a good factory.

Posted by: Crid at March 30, 2007 4:22 AM

Might I suggest the viewing of "Manufactured Landscapes", for all those factory lovers out there?

Posted by: Chrissy at March 30, 2007 6:05 AM

>>Does it get any more intellectually corrupt than that? Is there something lower that I’m missing?

No, but check back in a week. If there's one thing this administration is good at, it's breaking their own records in incompetence, dishonesty, and hubris.

Posted by: Gary S. at March 30, 2007 6:51 AM

Maybe I'm just old... OK, there's really no doubt. But the incompetence of this administration is somehow not surprising or unusual. The best presidency of my life (this is the tenth) was a pretty shitty affair. Yes, Bush has problems. Which one WASN'T incompetent, dishonest, or hubristic?

I think people naturally project their workaday irritations into whatever buffoonery is growing gray in Washington. There's ALWAYS a scandal in the second term, and life on Earth ends next Tuesday at 1pm. Always. And this week, we mean it.

And thanks to Chrissy for taking the comment seriously. Aside from the remarkable tone control of that photograph, it looks like a place where things are getting done, and not it some halfhearted commie way, either

Posted by: Crid at March 30, 2007 6:58 AM

You're welcome, Crid. The movie I mentioned is unfortunately about commie China, so maybe the beauty will be tainted by its commie-ness.

Posted by: Chrissy at March 30, 2007 8:36 AM

Very well, see also

Posted by: Crid at March 30, 2007 9:04 AM

Everybody has an agenda. Only the most
juvenile believe everything that they are
told. To lambast one party for having an
agenda and totally ignoring the obvious
agenda of the other party is dishonest.

You needn't believe it if you are bound to
your beliefs. Others might, with enquiring
minds, wonder why it appears that the
entire solar system is heating up.

Your temperature may vary.

Posted by: Curtis at April 1, 2007 9:24 AM

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