Well, unless you are a Washington Post reader with its blackout of coverage of Rudy’s sex scandal, Sex on the City truly provides a revealing window on a top Republican Presidential contender. Well, perhaps we should be wondering whether the new scandal that all (except, again, Washington Post readers) should be discussing might be called “Carbon on the City”.
As GreenMiles has connected, Guiliani’s firm has been paid by clients to fight Renewable Electricity Standards (RES) as part of the Energy Bill. And, well, candidate Guiliani has come out against RES. Hmmm … coincidence or someone seeking to be Lobbyist-in-Chief?
According to Bloomberg,
Southern Co., American Electric Power Co. and other producers hired top Washington lobbyists, including Rudy Giuliani’s firm, to help defeat a measure that would force them to boost electricity generated by wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy to 15 percent of the U.S. total by 2020.
Rudy Guiliani, Sunday, on Meet the Press, was challenged by Russert about his firm’s clients, but not the energy firms and the work to fight the energy bill. But there is no reason to worry about these contacts, after all Rudy assures us:
I can tell you that every client of GP of any significance while I was there, while I was involved in the day-to-day, day-to-day operations of it has been discussed, significant number of the Bracewell, Giuliani clients have been discussed, and the reality is that none of them amount to anything other than ethical, lawful, decent work done by both companies, sometimes of the highest standards, always ethical and decent. And none of them involve any kind of conflict of any kind.
When it came to Energy, here is the totality of the exchange:
MR. RUSSERT: Congress—the House has passed an energy bill which would mandate 35 miles per gallon per automobiles by the year 2020. Would you support that?
MR. GIULIANI: That isn’t the way I think it should be done. I think what we should be doing is developing the alternatives so it’s possible to accomplish that as opposed to just setting mandates and not having the support there for expansion of hybrid vehicles, expansion of biofuels, including ethanol. Expansion…
Very classic. This is what is the new path for those fighting responses to Global Warming. Rather than Denying or stating Skepticism, the argument is for waiting for the technological explosion. “Develop the alternatives” rather than deploy them …
MR. RUSSERT: But you’re against increasing miles per gallon.
MR. GIULIANI: I would not do it that way, yes. I would do it with heavy expansion of hybrid vehicles, which move some of the sources over to electricity, then deal with clean coal, nuclear power, hybrid vehicles, expansion of hydroelectric power, more oil refineries, more domestic oil. All of those things are the things that we should be supporting. And we should be selling that to the, to the rest of the world, because if, if—no matter what we do, if China and India and these other countries that are developing don’t start to get control on this, it’s going to wipe out any good that we do. So the real emphasis here should be on developing energy independence and creating these alternative industries.
Hmm … wind power? Solar power? In any event, well, who cares what we do because there is always China and India.
From the Bloomberg piece
More Than Exxon
Southern Co. has spent $7.26 million this year lobbying Congress, more than Exxon Mobil Corp. or General Motors Corp., according to the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics. It hired such firms as Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, where Republican presidential front-runner Giuliani is a partner.
The Giuliani firm’s involvement goes deeper: 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.
“Advocates for the renewable-portfolio standards have a tough road ahead of them to get the votes in the Senate,” says Segal, who adds that his firm also represents renewable-energy companies on other issues.
Giuliani’s campaign says the former New York mayor supports alternative fuels. “He is an advocate for developing renewable energy as a way of achieving energy independence,” spokeswoman Maria Comella says. She didn’t comment on the lobbying effort.
Yes, Rudy’s comments on Meet the Press certainly show his passionate support for renewable energy. That $7+ million has no relevance on Rudy’s views. Absolutely … Rudy’s spokeswoman told us so.
Now, this is extremely distasteful to be writing while listening to Al Gore’s speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. A stark contrast in leadership and “moral authority” is an extreme understatement …
NOTE: The Nation had a article by Ari Berman in October, Rudy’s Dirty Money which provides far more information about these links.
When it comes to energy policy, Giuliani’s record as mayor won’t present a roadblock to his industry supporters. He put ten new power plants in New York neighborhoods over the objection of community groups and allowed utility giant Consolidated Edison to expand along the East River. Unlike other New York Republicans, such as former Governor George Pataki, “environmental issues were not a big category for Giuliani,” …
At a speech last year at the Manhattan Institute, the conservative think tank that generated many of Rudy’s mayoral policies, Giuliani called the idea of energy independence “the wrong paradigm.” He dismissed energy conservation as “helpful but not really very, very effective.” He was most animated, according to press reports, about the need to build new nuclear power plants and expand oil drilling. “We haven’t drilled in Alaska,” he said. “We haven’t built oil refineries. We haven’t ordered a nuclear power plant since 1978.” He also plugged ethanol, a favorite in Midwest corn states like Iowa, and so-called clean coal technologies.
On the campaign trail, Rudy now includes the requisite language about curbing global warming and weaning America from its dependence on foreign oil. One of his campaign’s “twelve commitments” is to “lead America towards energy independence.” At a diner in Waterloo, Iowa, this past summer, he was asked how he’d accomplish that goal, given his clients in the oil, gas, coal and nuclear energy industries. “Law firms aren’t political,” Giuliani responded, “so this is kind of a silly way in which people attack each other on politics. It has no relationships to your political position. As a lawyer, or a law firm…you don’t make determinations of who you represent on your political philosophy.”
That answer was less than convincing in light of Bracewell’s political activism and Giuliani’s newfound friends. These days, Rudy’s “political philosophy” seems to mirror that of his energy clients and Bush Pioneers.
See also the excellent post at ThinkProgress, Giuliani’s Law Firm Led Effort To Kill Senate Energy Bill, which has the Meet the Press video and some additional details. The bottom line remains the same:
Giuliani has so far been unable to separate his campaign positions from his business interests.