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David Halperin's Posts

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Media for Sale: Coal Lobby Buys Politico, Real Clear Politics Events

Last week, the political news website Real Clear Politics hosted a Washington DC event (video) targeted at an elite media and policy audience. Held at the gleaming Newseum, site of many such events, it was entitled, "U.S. Energy Policy: The Road Ahead," and appeared to be a genuine policy discussion. It was, in fact, an infomercial. The event was sponsored by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), a major trade organization for the U.S. coal industry. ACCCE was paying to have an energy discussion before journalists and policymakers – and for the opportunity to have ACCCE’s CEO Mike Duncan lead …

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President Obama’s Chemical Safety Panel Must Heed Senator Obama’s Warnings

In the wake of the April 2103 West, Texas, chemical plant explosion, which killed 15 people and injured 160 more, President Obama issued an executive order directing federal agencies to improve the safety of our industrial chemical plants.  Right now, a working group of federal officials is conducting "listening sessions" around the country to hear from the public on these issues. I spoke at one of these meetings in Washington DC today, before a panel chaired by David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA). Here's what I said: Members of the Working Group, thank you …

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Blogger asks Court: Dismiss Libel Case Over Article Linking Cuccinelli to Coal CEO Murray

This morning, my co-counsel from the ACLU of Ohio and I filed a motion asking a federal court to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by Robert Murray, CEO of the coal company Murray Energy Corp., against our client Mike Stark. Murray has sued over this article that Stark wrote on the Huffington Post blog about Murray's campaign donations to Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli.  Murray also has sued the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, and others working for her site. We believe Mr. Murray's case has no merit. All the facts alleged by Mike Stark in his article are true, and …

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INFOGRAPHIC: The Koch Bros, Getting Richer While the World Burns

Click to embiggen: Click to embiggen. You may repost this infographic PROVIDED that you do not alter it in any way. Download SOURCES: 1. FORBES  2. SMITH (NOAA) & Katz (NCAR) 3. POLITICAL ECONOMY RESEARCH INSTITUTE 4. INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING WORKSHOP 5. GREENPEACE 6. CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY 7. THE HILL, NEW YORK TIMES This post also appears on Huffington Post and Republic Report.

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Christie to Climate: Drop Dead

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie received widespread praise for his determined, and anti-partisan, work to aid his citizens in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy. But when it comes to protecting his state against future extreme weather assaults, Christie morphs into another know-nothing partisan. In an interview last week on NBC's Today, Matt Lauer pressed Christie on his recent statements casting doubt on the connection between human-created climate change and Sandy: LAUER: You said you don't think there's been any proof thus far that Sandy was caused by climate change. Several experts I've heard from say the destruction, though, from Sandy, was …

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Keystone Pipeline Not a Big Deal — Say Interests Supported By Oil and Gas Industry

Last week, the Washington DC publication National Journal gave us the scoop, in an article entitled, "What People Close to Obama Think About the Keystone XL Pipeline": Obama-connected environmental experts "are now saying publicly what many Democratic energy and climate advisers have said more privately over the past couple of years: The Keystone XL pipeline is not that big of a deal." The National Journal article seems designed to persuade the DC policy community of the inevitability -- and maybe even the correctness -- of a decision by the Obama Administration to allow the controversial pipeline to go forward. In other words, …

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Who Built Senator-Turned-Dirty Energy Lobbyist Trent Lott? You Did

Trent Lott trained in the ways of Washington on your dime. Now he uses that knowledge as a paid lobbyist for dirty energy companies. while also posing as a wise statesman. Far too often in Washington, policy decisions are influenced by big money -- wealthy corporations spend millions on lobbying, public relations, and campaign contributions to get their way. Big money helps explain why your cell phone and cable TV bills are so expensive, why small investors are still unprotected from Wall Street abuses, why taxpayers subsidize incomprehensible waste, like the $33 billion a year we spend on for-profit colleges …

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Before Rubio, Before Luntz: Meet A Founding Father of Climate Change Denial

Republican consultant Frank Luntz, a master of words, made clear in a 2002 GOP strategy memo how conservatives would address the growing threat of climate change: They would simply deny it was happening. According to the memo: The scientific debate remains open. Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community. Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate, and defer to scientists and other experts in the …

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