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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Green Conflict, Continued

An earlier post discussed a former EPA head who put her name on an op-ed that might benefit her clients. At AEI, Timothy Carney continues the story:
Whitman is only one example. The Aug. 12 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran an op-ed co-bylined by former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell. It reads a lot like Whitman's piece: "Fortunately, President Barack Obama's climate plan sets a path forward for Pennsylvania and the rest of the country to finally start doing something about it in a clear, common-sense and mutually beneficial way."

The op-ed discloses that Rendell sits on the board of directors of wind-power company OwnEnergy. Rendell's coauthor in the piece is OwnEnergy CEO Jacob Susman. Now you see one reason energy companies want ex-politicians on their payroll - Whitman and Rendell can get a primetime TV spot, a New York Times op-ed or a meeting with policymakers that most CEOs can only dream about.

Green energy is replete with these examples, but the fossil-fuel sector isn't innocent. Rendell in March published a New York Daily News op-ed championing oil and gas fracking, which many environmentalists oppose. A few days later, the nonprofit journalism outfit Pro Publica reported a detail Rendell's op-ed had omitted: "Since stepping down as governor in 2011, he has worked as a paid consultant to a private equity firm with investments in the natural gas industry."