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Bush Climate Team Still Impacting The Debate, Report Finds

Nick Pinto

James L. Connaughton, President Bush’s chief environmental advisor from 2001 to 2009.

As the next round of UN climate change negotiations begin in
Copenhagen, a new report describes how 22 Bush-era officials are still
influencing the climate debate, many of them as registered lobbyists
for industry.

Among the former officials listed in the report from watchdog group
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington are the following:

  • Philip Cooney, chief of staff for Bush's Council on Environmental Quality from 2001 to 2005, joined
    Exxon-Mobil in 2005. Cooney has come full circle -- from working for
    industry as a lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, then to
    the Bush Administration, now back working for industry. He resigned as
    chief of staff at the CEQ after reports surfaced
    that he had watered down several climate change reports. An
    investigation by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
    found that the "Bush Administration [had] engaged in a systematic
    effort to manipulate climate change science and mislead policymakers
    and the public about the dangers of global warming."

  • Khary Cauthen, who succeeded Cooney as chief of staff for the
    CEQ, is now a registered lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute.

  • James L. Connaughton served as President Bush's chief
    environmental adviser as chair of the CEQ from 2001 to 2009. Since
    then, he has been vice president for corporate affairs and
    environmental policy at Constellation Energy.

"These alumni of the Bush climate team continue to shape and confuse
the debate over global warming," said Melanie Sloan, CREW's executive
director. "They may have changed their uniforms, but they're still
playing for the same team."

The full report can be read here.

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