Vote for the most villainous eco-villain of 2007
Check out our nominations for the most reprehensible eco-villain of 2007, then vote at the bottom of this post. (And tell us who we missed.)
George W. Bush. You’ve heard of him, right?
Pete Domenici. Sen. Domenici, top Republican on the Senate Energy Committee, played a key role in neutering the just-signed energy bill, pushing successfully to remove a provision that would have required utilities to produce 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources — even though Domenici’s home state of New Mexico is well-positioned to profit from renewables. He also relentlessly shills for the nuclear industry.
Stephen Johnson. Bush’s man at the EPA, Johnson just denied California’s request for a waiver that would let the state regulate greenhouse gases from cars and trucks — against the advice of the career professionals at the agency.
Julie MacDonald. This Bush appointee to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service abruptly resigned in May 2007, just as Congress was about to consider charges that she had altered scientific reports to minimize protection for numerous species under the Endangered Species Act (and had inappropriately released government documents). Ongoing review of her decisions continues to turn up trouble.
Robert Murray. He is owner of the Crandall Canyon Mine in Utah, which collapsed in August, causing nine deaths — and which had racked up hundreds of safety citations since January 2004. Murray insisted his mine was safe (all evidence to the contrary), whined about federal mine regulators, complained about proposed climate-change bills, bitched about the miners union, and moaned about how hard the whole collapse had been for him.
Harlan Watson. Before attending the December climate negotiations in Bali as chief U.S. negotiator, Watson told Reuters, “We don’t believe targets and timetables are important, or a global cap-and-trade system.” He also argued that the U.S. shouldn’t be singled out for criticism for rejecting Kyoto, because Turkey rejected it too. No surprise, then, that the U.S. gummed up the climate talks and watered down the final deal.
Americans for Balanced Energy Choices. Once ABEC, now apparently “America’s Power” (perhaps the patriotism didn’t come across well enough), this coal front group is the leading wedge of a multimillion-dollar PR campaign aimed at buffing dirty energy’s clean image among lawmakers. Last seen sponsoring presidential debates and sending Santas out to dispense coal-shaped chocolates (really).
UNGREEN. The nefarious United Nemeses aGainst Reliable Eco Experts Network kidnapped our beloved advice maven, Umbra Fisk — forcing her to (horrors!) eat from Styrofoam containers, use energy-inefficient appliances, and live in a sprawling McMansion. Fortunately, with the help of our readers, she was released.
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