You might recall that a while back there was talk of a(nother) presidential forum on climate and energy, to be convened by Al Gore and Arnold Schwarzenegger in New Hampshire, involving all the candidates from both parties. Surely given the location, the subject, and the star power, no candidate could say no, right?
Well, turns out it’s not happening. Why? Because of the Republicans, only McCain agreed to attend. Giuliani didn’t even return their calls.
In other news — you might even say related news — it turns out that coal-heavy utilities like Southern and American Electric are lobbying furiously against the Renewable Portfolio Standard in the energy bill before the Senate. Southern alone has spent $7.26 million lobbying Congress this year.
And what’s their favorite lobbying firm? Bracewell & Giuliani, home of none other than presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, who said this weekend that he will not sever financial ties to the firm if he’s elected.
Here’s a rundown of Giuliani’s energy ties from ThinkProgress:
— Giuliani’s campaign has collected more than $400,000 from employees of companies in the oil, gas, and energy industries.
— In August, Giuliani spoke to "representatives of the coal industry at a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser … saying, ‘We have to increase our reliance on coal‘ in the future."
— Scott Segal, a Bracewell lobbyist, "is director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, an industry group that focuses on air-quality issues and includes Southern Co., Progress Energy Inc. and other utilities." Southern Co. hired Bracewell to lead the lobbying campaign against the Senate bill.
See also Ari Bermans’ story in The Nation a while back on “Rudy’s Dirty Money.”
Everyone I know in the foreign policy world is convinced that a Giuliani presidency would be an unprecedented disaster. I’m beginning to think that the same is true on climate and energy.