Connecting the dots of denial

Seth Kaplan

(Updated 9/15/2010)

In a recent issue of the New Yorker staff writer Jane Meyer leads us all on a guided tour of the machinery, machinations and massive expenditures that the billionaire Koch brothers have poured into organizations like the Orwellian named “Americans for Prosperity” that, among other things, are dedicated to stopping progress in the war to protect our climate.

Not satisfied with having played a role in derailing (hopefully temporarily) sensible energy and climate policy in Washington DC these guardians of fossil fuel industry profits are seeking to halt good efforts in the states.  While their efforts in California have been the most noticed they are also busy laying astroturf in places like New Jersey where a “campaign” to roll back the mild, moderate and successful Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has been launched out of the corporate checkbooks supporting “Americans for Prosperity.”

This effort in New Jersey angrily rails that there is no clear line on electricity bills to show the price that consumers are paying for RGGI – ignoring the reality that there is not a bit of evidence that such a cost can be identified by anyone.  Indeed, the RGGI program is so mild and moderate that, as was anticipated when the program was created, the impact on consumers is so small that it is in fact invisible.   The fact that the New Jersey “anti cap and trade” website fails to actually describe a price impact for RGGI before ranting about the need to disclose such a cost is a clear signal that we are dealing with folks who are not playing straight.

And to add yet another bizarre twist to the tale, the Albany Times-Union reports that the company owned by the same Koch brothers who founded and have funded the organization protesting RGGI has been participating in the RGGI auction, presumably for profit and not just fun.

While David and Charles Koch, as detailed in the New Yorker article,  have focused their spending on nurturing “Americans for Prosperity” and similar national efforts their brother William Koch has been focused on local denial – heavily funding lobbying against the Cape Wind project which he apparently feels would damage the view from his vacation home.  But the Koch agendas are now converging as “Americans for Prosperity” levels a volley at an effort by the governor of New Jersey, a Republican who is generally regarded as conservative, for using RGGI funds to support offshore wind farm development.   Perhaps this is a result of the reconciliation between these brothers now that they have settled their infamous feud.

Ultimately, though this is about people who have made a lot of money from the current system of generating energy from fossil fuels fighting the future.  Not only are they tossing all of us, including their own families, under the bus of a dangerously changing climate but they are fighting against efforts like wind farms that generate stability in energy prices (something their fossil products simply can’t deliver) and programs like energy efficiency investments that generate real jobs and prosperity.  For example, the operator of the efficiency programs in New York State estimates, in their annual plan, that the programs funded by RGGI in that one state will create:

  • Customer energy bill savings of more than $445 million
  • 1.7 million barrel reduction in oil imports
  • Creation or retention of approximately 1,400 jobs
  • Greenhouse gas emissions reductions up to 2.0 million tons; equal to removing approximately16,500 cars from the road

Saving people money on energy bills and creating jobs – what a nightmare !!!

Focus Areas

Climate Change

Places

Campaigns

Offshore Wind

16 Responses to “Connecting the dots of denial”

  1. For years Cape Wind Associates, which plans to build 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound, told us that it could supply renewable energy to the New England market and save ratepayers $25 million a year!

    Now we learn , ratepayers are going to end up paying $82 million annually more than what they currently pay for the power to be supplied by Cape Wind. That is far cry from paying the $25 million less that Cape Wind originally promised. It’s a case of bait-and-switch !

    The country has evidently arrived at a point in its legal culture where no negative consequences seem to exist for making false or misleading claims to sell wind energy—the stuff dreams are made of. But industrial wind is a bunco scheme of enormous consequence. And people who value intellectual honesty should not quietly be fleeced by such mendacity, even from their government

  2. For years Cape Wind Associates, which plans to build 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound, told us that it could supply renewable energy to the New England market and save ratepayers $25 million a year!

    Now we learn , ratepayers are going to end up paying $82 million annually more than what they currently pay for the power to be supplied by Cape Wind. That is far cry from paying the $25 million less that Cape Wind originally promised. It’s a case of bait-and-switch !

    The country has evidently arrived at a point in its legal culture where no negative consequences seem to exist for making false or misleading claims to sell wind energy—the stuff dreams are made of. But industrial wind is a bunco scheme of enormous consequence. And people who value intellectual honesty should not quietly be fleeced by such mendacity, even from their government

  3. For years Cape Wind Associates, which plans to build 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound, told us that it could supply renewable energy to the New England market and save ratepayers $25 million a year!

    Now we learn , ratepayers are going to end up paying $82 million annually more than what they currently pay for the power to be supplied by Cape Wind. That is far cry from paying the $25 million less that Cape Wind originally promised. It’s a case of bait-and-switch !

    The country has evidently arrived at a point in its legal culture where no negative consequences seem to exist for making false or misleading claims to sell wind energy—the stuff dreams are made of. But industrial wind is a bunco scheme of enormous consequence. And people who value intellectual honesty should not quietly be fleeced by such mendacity, even from their government

  4. For years Cape Wind Associates, which plans to build 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound, told us that it could supply renewable energy to the New England market and save ratepayers $25 million a year!

    Now we learn , ratepayers are going to end up paying $82 million annually more than what they currently pay for the power to be supplied by Cape Wind. That is far cry from paying the $25 million less that Cape Wind originally promised. It’s a case of bait-and-switch !

    The country has evidently arrived at a point in its legal culture where no negative consequences seem to exist for making false or misleading claims to sell wind energy—the stuff dreams are made of. But industrial wind is a bunco scheme of enormous consequence. And people who value intellectual honesty should not quietly be fleeced by such mendacity, even from their government

  5. NJConservative

    Wow, what a lot of hot air. The RGGI cap-and-trade program purposefully set the carbon permits at alow price precisely so the affect would be small. That’s the way to get the proverbial foot in the door. Later, the caps will become more stringent and the prices far, far higher. That’s why firms like Goldman Sachs are lining up to buy. One would think the greenie anti-capitalist Wall Street bashers would be a tad upset that Cap & Trade is nothing less than a money making scam for investment banks. you’d think they’d also be upset that RGGI funds are being used to close budget gaps in places like New Jersey. Christie used it all so no moola for your green junk there.
    Next – the idea that cap-and-trade leads to cost savings is an utter joke. the whole point is to make energy costlie. That cost gets passed on to ratepayers. It also causes the price of everyh product and service to rise. Cap-and trade will cost jobs. That’s not progress, my friend. that’s destruction. That is what the left stands for. Spreading misery everywhere and calling it “sacrifice.”
    Further, RGGI has not been a success at all. If you define reduced carbon emissions as “success” then you have the faltering economy to blame. Less demand has resulted in less production and need to emit.
    Windmills? They are notoriously unreliable. When they aren’t producing energy, what do you think happens? Things like coal must be used to make up for it. Stop-and-go generation, which is what would happen in such an instance, is inefficient, too.
    As a conservative, I am not opposed to alternative energy. I am opposed to the government shoving it down my throat and using my tax dollars to subsidize things that don’t work in the name of the fraud called global warming. Have you ever heard of ClimateGate or did you just stick tyour head in the sand on that one? Did you ever hear of the scientific method when you went to school? Global warming is a THEORY and an unproven one at best. Until the results are verifiable it will remain just a theory.
    Of course, everything I said only makes sense to people who live in the real world. Whenever you want to join it, feel free. Until then keep saying “Koch” all you want. It won’t change the fact that you are dead wrong.

  6. NJConservative

    Wow, what a lot of hot air. The RGGI cap-and-trade program purposefully set the carbon permits at alow price precisely so the affect would be small. That’s the way to get the proverbial foot in the door. Later, the caps will become more stringent and the prices far, far higher. That’s why firms like Goldman Sachs are lining up to buy. One would think the greenie anti-capitalist Wall Street bashers would be a tad upset that Cap & Trade is nothing less than a money making scam for investment banks. you’d think they’d also be upset that RGGI funds are being used to close budget gaps in places like New Jersey. Christie used it all so no moola for your green junk there.
    Next – the idea that cap-and-trade leads to cost savings is an utter joke. the whole point is to make energy costlie. That cost gets passed on to ratepayers. It also causes the price of everyh product and service to rise. Cap-and trade will cost jobs. That’s not progress, my friend. that’s destruction. That is what the left stands for. Spreading misery everywhere and calling it “sacrifice.”
    Further, RGGI has not been a success at all. If you define reduced carbon emissions as “success” then you have the faltering economy to blame. Less demand has resulted in less production and need to emit.
    Windmills? They are notoriously unreliable. When they aren’t producing energy, what do you think happens? Things like coal must be used to make up for it. Stop-and-go generation, which is what would happen in such an instance, is inefficient, too.
    As a conservative, I am not opposed to alternative energy. I am opposed to the government shoving it down my throat and using my tax dollars to subsidize things that don’t work in the name of the fraud called global warming. Have you ever heard of ClimateGate or did you just stick tyour head in the sand on that one? Did you ever hear of the scientific method when you went to school? Global warming is a THEORY and an unproven one at best. Until the results are verifiable it will remain just a theory.
    Of course, everything I said only makes sense to people who live in the real world. Whenever you want to join it, feel free. Until then keep saying “Koch” all you want. It won’t change the fact that you are dead wrong.

  7. NJConservative

    Wow, what a lot of hot air. The RGGI cap-and-trade program purposefully set the carbon permits at alow price precisely so the affect would be small. That’s the way to get the proverbial foot in the door. Later, the caps will become more stringent and the prices far, far higher. That’s why firms like Goldman Sachs are lining up to buy. One would think the greenie anti-capitalist Wall Street bashers would be a tad upset that Cap & Trade is nothing less than a money making scam for investment banks. you’d think they’d also be upset that RGGI funds are being used to close budget gaps in places like New Jersey. Christie used it all so no moola for your green junk there.
    Next – the idea that cap-and-trade leads to cost savings is an utter joke. the whole point is to make energy costlie. That cost gets passed on to ratepayers. It also causes the price of everyh product and service to rise. Cap-and trade will cost jobs. That’s not progress, my friend. that’s destruction. That is what the left stands for. Spreading misery everywhere and calling it “sacrifice.”
    Further, RGGI has not been a success at all. If you define reduced carbon emissions as “success” then you have the faltering economy to blame. Less demand has resulted in less production and need to emit.
    Windmills? They are notoriously unreliable. When they aren’t producing energy, what do you think happens? Things like coal must be used to make up for it. Stop-and-go generation, which is what would happen in such an instance, is inefficient, too.
    As a conservative, I am not opposed to alternative energy. I am opposed to the government shoving it down my throat and using my tax dollars to subsidize things that don’t work in the name of the fraud called global warming. Have you ever heard of ClimateGate or did you just stick tyour head in the sand on that one? Did you ever hear of the scientific method when you went to school? Global warming is a THEORY and an unproven one at best. Until the results are verifiable it will remain just a theory.
    Of course, everything I said only makes sense to people who live in the real world. Whenever you want to join it, feel free. Until then keep saying “Koch” all you want. It won’t change the fact that you are dead wrong.

  8. NJConservative

    Wow, what a lot of hot air. The RGGI cap-and-trade program purposefully set the carbon permits at alow price precisely so the affect would be small. That’s the way to get the proverbial foot in the door. Later, the caps will become more stringent and the prices far, far higher. That’s why firms like Goldman Sachs are lining up to buy. One would think the greenie anti-capitalist Wall Street bashers would be a tad upset that Cap & Trade is nothing less than a money making scam for investment banks. you’d think they’d also be upset that RGGI funds are being used to close budget gaps in places like New Jersey. Christie used it all so no moola for your green junk there.
    Next – the idea that cap-and-trade leads to cost savings is an utter joke. the whole point is to make energy costlie. That cost gets passed on to ratepayers. It also causes the price of everyh product and service to rise. Cap-and trade will cost jobs. That’s not progress, my friend. that’s destruction. That is what the left stands for. Spreading misery everywhere and calling it “sacrifice.”
    Further, RGGI has not been a success at all. If you define reduced carbon emissions as “success” then you have the faltering economy to blame. Less demand has resulted in less production and need to emit.
    Windmills? They are notoriously unreliable. When they aren’t producing energy, what do you think happens? Things like coal must be used to make up for it. Stop-and-go generation, which is what would happen in such an instance, is inefficient, too.
    As a conservative, I am not opposed to alternative energy. I am opposed to the government shoving it down my throat and using my tax dollars to subsidize things that don’t work in the name of the fraud called global warming. Have you ever heard of ClimateGate or did you just stick tyour head in the sand on that one? Did you ever hear of the scientific method when you went to school? Global warming is a THEORY and an unproven one at best. Until the results are verifiable it will remain just a theory.
    Of course, everything I said only makes sense to people who live in the real world. Whenever you want to join it, feel free. Until then keep saying “Koch” all you want. It won’t change the fact that you are dead wrong.

  9. So lets take these “critiques” one by one.

    1) The opposition to Cape Wind has now fastened on to the price of power under the submitted contract as the latest reason to oppose the project. In doing so they (as you can see above) hopelessly confuse and mix together the “net benefit” number (estimated at about $25 Million) with the dollar cost of the power. If you read the extensive filings that CLF has made in the case currently underway at the MA DPU regarding the Cape Wind – National Grid contract you can see the basis for our view that the price is appropriate, especially in light of the stability it creates as a buffer against volatile fossil fuel prices. But the fact that this is simply the latest in a long line of arguments that the opponents of Cape Wind have fastened on to suggests strongly they really don’t care about price, this is simple the latest stick they have found to hit the project with.

    2. The fellow hiding behind the label “NJConservative” has one thing right – that the decision of the Governor of New Jersey to siphon off some of the RGGI proceeds for general governmental purposes was wrong. But that is about it. His assumption that environmentalists are “anti-capitalist” is not only wrong and biased but a little silly when you consider the willingness of environmental groups to embrace market mechanisms as part of a broader solution.

    As to his denial about climate science there is very little there to analyze. The idea that global warming is “just a theory” and therefore not real is about the least convincing argument imaginable. As the dictionary tells us, a theory is “the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another”. Every day, thousands of decisions about medical treatment (both surgery and drug treatment) and civil engineering (the design of roads, bridges and such) are made based upon theories and facts that are much less substantiated than the core climate science that has been evaluated by the National Academies of Science, the American Geophysical Union and so many others.

  10. So lets take these “critiques” one by one.

    1) The opposition to Cape Wind has now fastened on to the price of power under the submitted contract as the latest reason to oppose the project. In doing so they (as you can see above) hopelessly confuse and mix together the “net benefit” number (estimated at about $25 Million) with the dollar cost of the power. If you read the extensive filings that CLF has made in the case currently underway at the MA DPU regarding the Cape Wind – National Grid contract you can see the basis for our view that the price is appropriate, especially in light of the stability it creates as a buffer against volatile fossil fuel prices. But the fact that this is simply the latest in a long line of arguments that the opponents of Cape Wind have fastened on to suggests strongly they really don’t care about price, this is simple the latest stick they have found to hit the project with.

    2. The fellow hiding behind the label “NJConservative” has one thing right – that the decision of the Governor of New Jersey to siphon off some of the RGGI proceeds for general governmental purposes was wrong. But that is about it. His assumption that environmentalists are “anti-capitalist” is not only wrong and biased but a little silly when you consider the willingness of environmental groups to embrace market mechanisms as part of a broader solution.

    As to his denial about climate science there is very little there to analyze. The idea that global warming is “just a theory” and therefore not real is about the least convincing argument imaginable. As the dictionary tells us, a theory is “the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another”. Every day, thousands of decisions about medical treatment (both surgery and drug treatment) and civil engineering (the design of roads, bridges and such) are made based upon theories and facts that are much less substantiated than the core climate science that has been evaluated by the National Academies of Science, the American Geophysical Union and so many others.

  11. So lets take these “critiques” one by one.

    1) The opposition to Cape Wind has now fastened on to the price of power under the submitted contract as the latest reason to oppose the project. In doing so they (as you can see above) hopelessly confuse and mix together the “net benefit” number (estimated at about $25 Million) with the dollar cost of the power. If you read the extensive filings that CLF has made in the case currently underway at the MA DPU regarding the Cape Wind – National Grid contract you can see the basis for our view that the price is appropriate, especially in light of the stability it creates as a buffer against volatile fossil fuel prices. But the fact that this is simply the latest in a long line of arguments that the opponents of Cape Wind have fastened on to suggests strongly they really don’t care about price, this is simple the latest stick they have found to hit the project with.

    2. The fellow hiding behind the label “NJConservative” has one thing right – that the decision of the Governor of New Jersey to siphon off some of the RGGI proceeds for general governmental purposes was wrong. But that is about it. His assumption that environmentalists are “anti-capitalist” is not only wrong and biased but a little silly when you consider the willingness of environmental groups to embrace market mechanisms as part of a broader solution.

    As to his denial about climate science there is very little there to analyze. The idea that global warming is “just a theory” and therefore not real is about the least convincing argument imaginable. As the dictionary tells us, a theory is “the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another”. Every day, thousands of decisions about medical treatment (both surgery and drug treatment) and civil engineering (the design of roads, bridges and such) are made based upon theories and facts that are much less substantiated than the core climate science that has been evaluated by the National Academies of Science, the American Geophysical Union and so many others.

  12. So lets take these “critiques” one by one.

    1) The opposition to Cape Wind has now fastened on to the price of power under the submitted contract as the latest reason to oppose the project. In doing so they (as you can see above) hopelessly confuse and mix together the “net benefit” number (estimated at about $25 Million) with the dollar cost of the power. If you read the extensive filings that CLF has made in the case currently underway at the MA DPU regarding the Cape Wind – National Grid contract you can see the basis for our view that the price is appropriate, especially in light of the stability it creates as a buffer against volatile fossil fuel prices. But the fact that this is simply the latest in a long line of arguments that the opponents of Cape Wind have fastened on to suggests strongly they really don’t care about price, this is simple the latest stick they have found to hit the project with.

    2. The fellow hiding behind the label “NJConservative” has one thing right – that the decision of the Governor of New Jersey to siphon off some of the RGGI proceeds for general governmental purposes was wrong. But that is about it. His assumption that environmentalists are “anti-capitalist” is not only wrong and biased but a little silly when you consider the willingness of environmental groups to embrace market mechanisms as part of a broader solution.

    As to his denial about climate science there is very little there to analyze. The idea that global warming is “just a theory” and therefore not real is about the least convincing argument imaginable. As the dictionary tells us, a theory is “the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another”. Every day, thousands of decisions about medical treatment (both surgery and drug treatment) and civil engineering (the design of roads, bridges and such) are made based upon theories and facts that are much less substantiated than the core climate science that has been evaluated by the National Academies of Science, the American Geophysical Union and so many others.

Leave a Reply

About the CLF Blog

The views and opinions expressed on this blog do not necessarily represent the opinions or positions of Conservation Law Foundation, our boards, or our supporters.