A Question for Jim Rosapepe

Following up on Kenny’s post below.

Jim Rosapepe’s claim that Enron’s “urging” was the cause of the 1999 “deregulation” of Maryland’s electricity market begs the question, is Enron behind his support of Global Warming Solutions Act?

Perhaps Rosapepe is ignorant of the fact that Enron was the head cheerleader for the Kyoto Protocol. Enron lobbied both the Clinton and Bush administrations to circumvent the Senate and issue policy directives, which would “do more to promote Enron’s business,” and be “good for Enron stock.”

…a 1998 letter, signed by Enron’s then-CEO Ken Lay (and a few other bigwigs), asking President Clinton, in essence, to harm the reputations and credibility of scientists who argued that global warming was an overblown issue. Apparently they were standing in Enron’s way. The letter, dated Sept. 1, asked the president to shut off the public scientific debate on global warming, which continues to this date. In particular, it requested Clinton to “moderate the political aspects” of this discussion by appointing a bipartisan “Blue Ribbon Commission.”

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The purpose of this commission was clear: high-level trashing of dissident scientists. Setting up a panel to do this is simple — just look at the latest issue of Scientific American, where four attack dogs were called out to chew up poor Bjorn Lomborg. He had the audacity to publish a book demonstrating global warming is overblown.

But what about Kyoto itself, which Enron knew would never be ratified by the required 67 senators? In 1998, Kyoto enjoyed the support of about 12 senators. “We urge the Kyoto Protocol not be submitted to the Senate in the near future, where pre-emptive rejection would remove the U.S. from a political leadership role,” said Lay’s letter. In other words, Lay wanted to derail the normal democratic process of having our elected officials vote on a treaty, so that Enron could prosper.

While that was happening, Enron commissioned its own internal study of global warming science. It turned out to be largely in agreement with the same scientists Enron was trying to shut up. After considering all of the inconsistencies in climate science, the report concluded: “[T]he very real possibility that the great climate alarm could be a false alarm. The anthropogenic warming could well be less than thought and favorably distributed.”

One of Enron’s major consultants in that study was NASA scientists James Hansen, who started the whole global warming mess in 1988 with his bombastic congressional testimony. Last month, he published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences predicting exactly the same, inconsequential amount of warming in the next 50 years as the scientists that Enron wanted to gag. They were a decade ahead of NASA.

General Electric, which bought up Enron’s natural gas and renewable energy interests, after it went belly up in 2001, now lobbies Washington for similar draconian policies embodied in the Liberman- Warner bill.

Funny how Rosapepe never called attention to Enron or General Electric’s massive lobbying effort in “urging” the two administrations to enact Kyoto or Liberman-Warner. In fact, Rosapepe was a chief sponsor of the Global Warming Solutions Act and one of its most vocal supporters. Rosapepe even pulled his rhetoric straight out of the Enron playbook, during a senate hearing on the bill, when he scolded industry for “denying the facts about global warming.

So Senator Rosapepe, if it was wrong to follow Enron’s lead in Maryland’s electricity deregulation, then why is it okay to follow their (and General Electric’s) lead in support of equally dangerous global warming legislation?

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