Oregon governor John Kitzhaber may have announced that he will resign, but a sweeping FBI investigation of him and his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes, is only getting started. While the story involves personal failings, the green-energy lobbying scandal that brought them down has national lessons and implications. If oil companies and pharmaceutical concerns shouldn’t exercise undue influence in government, the same is true for green energy — which can’t yet survive in the marketplace without giant subsidies or special tax favors.
While Hayes was living in the governor’s mansion with the self-bestowed title of “Oregon’s First Lady,” she collected a series of consulting contracts and “fellowship” money from people with an interest in shaping state energy and environmental policy. She then ordered state employees to help run her private business and take actions in accord with the wishes of the green-energy groups that were paying her.
Some of the groups first identified by Willamette Week were sketchy. The Clean Economy Development Center (CEDC) gave Hayes $118,000 as a “fellow” for “work that Hayes and Kitzhaber’s office have yet to describe in any detail.” The arrangement was made by Dan Carol, a Kitzhaber campaign adviser who was later hired by the governor and his highest-paid aide, at $165,000 a year. CEDC had its tax-exempt status yanked by the IRS in 2014.
Then there was Demos, a New York–based left-wing group normally prominent in attacking voter-ID laws. But in Oregon, Demos persuaded Hayes and Kitzhaber to consider using a “genuine progress indicator” as a substitute for traditional GDP models of growth. In 2013, Governor Kitzhaber and Hayes accepted the invitation of Demos executive Lew Daly to accompany him to the Himalayan nation of Bhutan to study the “genuine progress indicator” concept. The next month, Hayes landed a $25,000 consulting contract with Demos. Within days, in violation of the law, she held a meeting promoting Demos’s concept at the state-owned governor’s mansion.
The San Francisco–based Energy Foundation gave Hayes $40,000 in 2013 to create a green-energy communications strategy. This foundation had also funded almost two-thirds of her $118,000 CDEC fellowship. Although much of its funding is obscure, one of the Energy Foundation’s most prominent backers is Tom Steyer, the California billionaire who last year plowed millions into Democratic campaigns and fighting the Keystone pipeline. Among the recipients of his largesse was the Oregon Democratic party, which netted $100,000 from his NextGen Climate Action group.
More scandals might be waiting in the wings. Last year, the Daily Caller reported that Kitzhaber signed a deal with the governors of Washington and California to implement low-carbon fuel standards that would raise the cost of transportation. But that may have been just the beginning of a much bigger scheme to push green-energy agendas. Chris Horner, of the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, used Freedom of Information Act requests to unearth a ten-page 2013 e-mail thread from the Washington governor’s office to allies working in various other governors’ offices. The thrust was advice on how to launch “a nationally coordinated, multi-year ‘states strategy’ focused on driving outcomes contemplated by the president’s climate action plan,” to “spread climate coordination and collaboration.”
The Kitzhaber aide in the e-mails is Dan Carol, who was so helpful in securing that lucrative green-energy fellowship for the governor’s fiancée. The e-mail participants discuss “Dan’s concept” to use their offices to push the climate agenda. It would be funded by “major environmental donors,” such as Steyer and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. A private White House dinner would be arranged “to create buy-in among” the donors. Recipients of the e-mails were assured that Council on Environmental Quality staff at the White House “were interested and felt [the White House’s David] Agnew, [counselor to the president John] Podesta, et al.” would also be interested. Read More: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/398648/kitzhaber-and-greedy-greens-john-fund By John Fund
John Fund goes on to point out that the news media instead of being watchdogs for such “green” corruption act more like collaborators.