Thursday, October 26, 2006

Energy Secretary Appoints Former Exxon-Mobil CEO to Study Energy Solutions... Really

You know, despite everything, I'm still surprised when Dubya and company make brazenly anti-environmental, or pro-big oil, decisions. I know, I know... you'd think I'd learn. But I still found myself shaking my head with disbelief when I received email from the Exxpose Exxon campaign announcing that Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman had appointed Lee Raymond, former Exxon-Mobil CEO, to lead a study on developing policy solutions to America's energy issues. It's one thing to appoint an oil executive to such a position, but when that executive comes from the oil company with the ugliest record of undermining science on the environmental effects of burning gas and oil, that's just... you know, I don't know how to characterize it. According to Exxpose Exxon,
After eighteen years of presiding over ExxonMobil, Lee Raymond is responsible for ExxonMobil's corporate image of denial and greed. In the 1990s, ExxonMobil began a multi-million dollar subversive disinformation campaign to undermine the science on global warming and delay crucial action. Internal memos reveal that the Bush administration has had a tight relationship with ExxonMobil under Lee Raymond and has received advice that benefited ExxonMobil and the oil industry while pushing the nation backwards on energy and the environment. Taking a page from big tobacco'’s playbook, Mr. Raymond directed ExxonMobil to spend $19 million to fund front groups to create an echo chamber of doubt around the science of global warming. As recently as June 14, 2005, Mr. Raymond told the Wall Street Journal, "it'’s yet to be shown how much of this [global warming] is really related to the activities of man."

Lee Raymond turned ExxonMobil into a rogue company even among its peers. The company vocally opposes U.S. energy independence and presses for deeper reliance on oil producing nations such as Saudi Arabia where the company has sunk heavy investments. Mr. RaymondĂ‚’s legacy is to deny that oil dependence is a problem. ExxonMobil is the only major oil giant calling renewable energy an "uneconomical" investment. Known for abruptly shutting off the microphone at shareholder'’s meetings when shareholders voiced opposition, Lee Raymond has earned the reputation of an impatient, authoritarian leader who shows no qualms to publicly belittle those who disagree with him. Mr. Raymond'’s repeated criticism of U.S. energy independence, investments in renewable energy, peak oil, and policies to help combat global warming have made it clear exactly where he stands. Although he claims his views will not dictate the study'’s results, there is overwhelming evidence to believe the contrary. Given his legacy, Mr. Raymond is unquestionably the worst choice for leading a study on resolving America's energy crisis.
So, let me see if I have this right: America is addicted to oil, and we shouldn't let falling gas prices make us forget that, but we're going to put the guy who's directed more funding than anyone to the climate change denial blowhards in charge of figuring out how to solve this problem? No wonder I feel woozy after reading the paper... Clearly, Bozo the President and his minions don't give a damn what we greenies think, but let 'em know anyway...

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