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Issue #291: July 31, 2009
Forged Letters, Mexican Drug Cartels, and Waterboarding
by Heather Moyer

TuskThe opponents of clean energy and climate legislation are getting desperate, to say the least. These last two days have been very telling.

The big news right now comes from some shameful lobbyists possibly at the behest of the energy and coal industries. The Daily Progress newspaper in Charlottesville, Virginia, reported today that lobbying firm Bonner and Associates sent forged letters from the NAACP-Charlottesville chapter and a local Hispanic community group to Congressman Tom Perriello (D-VA 5th) asking him to oppose the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES). Both groups actually support ACES.

Could an industry that's spent $77.8 million on lobbying so far in 2009 now be forging letters? Well, having looked at copies of the letters, the text sure does look straight out of the coal industry talking points, citing that Virginia "gets 56% of its energy from coal."

Fortunately, Rep. Ed Markey, Chair of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, is launching an investigation to get to the bottom of this, so hopefully we’ll know who was really behind these dirty tricks soon.

How low can these folks get?

The rest of this week's desperation comes from Thursday's Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the national security implications of global warming. 

One of the witnesses for the hearing was David B. Rivkin. If his name isn't familiar to you, let's take a walk through his past.

Rivkin is a lawyer from the dredges of Reagan's and both Bush Administrations (senior and junior), having served in various Department of Energy and Department of Justice roles. He was quite a defender of a do-nothing environmental policy, "Wait for more research before taking any bold steps".

Oh, and he's a hypocrite, having said last December that he opposed waterboarding, but then later saying the opposite in a Wall Street Journal OpEd. 

Add to Revkin's string of terrible ideas his testimony at yesterday’s hearing, where trotted out the tired old position (pdf) of, "India and China aren't doing it, so why should we?" while also claiming that any action we take on global warming could, in fact, make us more vulnerable in terms of national security.

So we get a waterboarding supporter testifying, and then we have committee member Senator John Barasso (R-WY) use his newest excuse to oppose legislation: It will lead to black market carbon credit trading where Mexican drug cartels and other bad guys will use it to fund terrorism.

Hear him say it -- the video is highlighted on none other than climate denier Sen. James Inhofe’s website.

We can just picture shady people meeting in dark clubs to arrange black market deals. "Hey man, got an elephant tusk and two carbon credits?"


RAW is the Sierra Club's weekly e-mail update in which our team of Sierra Club correspondents bring you humorous insights about environmental stories you won't want to believe.

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