Emails recently obtained under the Freedom of Information Act — seen here for the first time — show how political influence and lobbyists are shaping Obama administration policy and public relations.
Click the links below to read the FOIA request and the emails:
The emails show that the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) coordinated their response to a damning Spanish report on “green jobs” with wind industry lobbyists and the Center for American Progress (the progressive think tank founded by John Podesta and funded by George Soros).
The report from Spain’s Universidad Rey Juan Carlos — which was the subject of a George Will column in the Washington Post on June 25, 2009 — showed each “green job” that had been added by Spain’s aggressive wind energy program cost Spain nearly $800,000 and resulted in the loss of 2.2 jobs elsewhere in the economy.
Eight times, Obama had publicly referred to Spain’s program as being a model for a U.S. wind energy program.
The 900 pages of emails, obtained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Christopher C. Horner, show staff members from the DoE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the EPA developing a response to the report. They also show them coordinating the response with the Center for American Progress, plus the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) — two wind industry lobbyist groups.
What the emails show runs contrary to statements made to Congress by the Assistant Secretary of Energy Cathy Zoi — the Obama administration response to the Spanish report was in fact instigated at the request of the AWEA. It was then written with the close cooperation of the AWEA, the Center for American Progress, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The emails concentrate on the political implications of the Spanish study — and how to discredit it.
There also appears to have been significant pressure to publish an internal report from the NREL as a DoE report — bypassing the internal review and publication procedures — and to do so quickly.
The emails suggest that wind industry lobbyists and political organizations have significant behind-the-scenes influence on scientific reports from the Obama administration. This contradicts Obama’s insistence that his administration would get the politics out of science. It also calls into question the objectivity and quality of the information they provided to Congress.