View Full Version : Former Lobbyist Leaves White House Post
Sun, 12th Jun '05, 3:50pm
Former Lobbyist Leaves White House Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/11/AR2005061100419.html)
In the wake of a political scandal prompted by a release of documents by GAP, a White House official has resigned. Philip A. Cooney (http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/personfactsheet.php?id=1177), chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality and former lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, resigned yesterday, June 10, after documents illustrated that he routinely edited government climate change reports. Cooney has no scientific training.
Before going to the White House in 2001, he was the "climate team leader" and a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/08/politics/08climate.html?th=&emc=th&pagewanted=print).
One might think scientific content in such reports should be reviewed by scientists. However, Mr. Cooney and the Whitehouse didn't mind, and somewhat unsurprising his changes tended to emphasize the uncertainty of evidence that greenhouse-gas emissions are causing global temperatures to rise ... Mr. Cooney's alterations can cause clear shifts in meaning. For example, a sentence in the October 2002 draft of "Our Changing Planet" originally read, "Many scientific observations indicate that the Earth is undergoing a period of relatively rapid change." ... Mr. Cooney modified the sentence (http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/06/07/politics/08climategraph.jpg) to read, "Many scientific observations point to the conclusion that the Earth may be undergoing a period of relatively rapid change.":spin: :spin: :spin:
Mon, 13th Jun '05, 4:46am
Hmm, Petroleum lobbyist doctoring environmental documents to make the Petroleum industry look not so bad? Would would have thought that? And how does a guy with a background in the Petroleum lobby get into an Environmental Position anyway? Wouldn't you want a Scientist with environmental expertise on that position?
Mon, 13th Jun '05, 11:46am
Indeed. Quite frankly I would rather take a petroleum lobbyist into an important enviormental position than a greenpeace hippie. Of course if the guy goes and changes enviormental reports in order to fit his intrests then the guy is a corrupt bastard and needs to go.
Tue, 14th Jun '05, 7:09am
I wasn't suggesting some Treehugger, but someone with Environmental knowledge and no conflict of interests...
Tue, 14th Jun '05, 11:22am
Well I was not really implying that you wanted a treehugger in the position, I was just saying that petroluem instutions and companies usually have people with enviormental knowledge, since that is pretty much required from them today when you actually can't just go and bulldoze anything that has not been build by humans. I however know nothing about the case and about the knowledge of this guy but I just don't think that the fact that the guy has a background with a petroleum lobby group is enough to mark him as incompetent. However as I said if the guy has edited the enviormental reports then that's more than enough proof to throw him out.
Tue, 14th Jun '05, 11:26pm
Considering his background, wasn't it pretty clear that he would do such a thing right from the start?
The American Petroleum Institute never made a big fuss about their open resistance against any form of environmental laws.
Now that he leaves he has pretty much accomplished his mission - to at least delay inconvenient legistlation for 6 or so years.
Wed, 15th Jun '05, 12:12am
There are two options, really; rejoice because someone who is obviously in a position of power only to fulfill the desires of his bosses (in this case, the petroleum industry) is now gone.... or weep because he's just one of an untold number, doing untold damage. I suppose I'd be beating a kind of dead horse if I were to point out that our president is more or less exactly the same thing.
Wed, 15th Jun '05, 12:37am
Yeah, Cooney is just another pro-industry technocrat who became pro-industry technocrat because that's where all the money is. When you're good at what you do, there isn't much prestige and money to earn being an environmetalist.
That is, probably Cooney is replaced by another one of his ilk, who has the advantage of being less known.
What always strikes me though, is the chuzpah with which the Bush crew mans their positions, and implements their policies - and worse, that no one on Bush's side is lifting even an eyebrow, pointing out something might not be all that right here.
Latest in a row of weird incidents: The tobacco industry, one of Bush's largest campaign donors got their sweetheart gift - when the Justice Department reduced its request for damages in a racketeering trial that the government had already won from $130 billion to $10 billion to finance a national anti-smoking campaign over the next 25 years. That's a likely savings of $120 billion. Billion, not million.
Top Justice Department politicos even asked that its own witnesses soft-peddle their testimony so as not to move the judge to impose the larger fine anyway.
:banana: :banana: It's great doing business when you own the place, you go and write your own laws ... :banana: :banana:
Wed, 15th Jun '05, 8:13am
Well, maybe there should be rules on what industries are simply not allowed to contribute to campaigns. Not that it will ever happen as long as politicians need money to campaign, mind you. Maybe that's where the Judges need to step in...
Wed, 15th Jun '05, 9:01am
Thu, 16th Jun '05, 1:42am
That whole call for 'campaign finance reform' that we need that no politician will ever touch with a dead salmon... "You mean you want us to support a bill that 'restricts' how we use money? Ooooooh... we'll get back to you on that." Very similiar to the 'universal health care system' that would mean that sick people would get treated when they needed to... and that would make insurance companies obsolete. "Ooooohh...."
Thu, 16th Jun '05, 6:39am
That's the problem. Politicians don't want to bite the hand that feeds them. Judges are under no such constraint that I'm aware of. They need to determine what's considered fair and what's out of line. And not let Petroleum/Tobacco/Insurance companies don't get the chance to buy political support...