Friday, June 17, 2005
Don't let the revolving door sever your fucking head on the way out . . .
"Before joining the Bush Administration in 2001 as a senior environmental official, Mr Cooney was a lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, the chief mouthpiece of the oil and gas industry." (Also heavily funded by Exxon Mobile.) In office, he censors and edits scientific reviews in an attempt to discredit scientific theories about global warming. And, after a job well done, he returns to the private sector—working for Exxon.
June 16, 2005
From Roland Watson in Washington
A WHITE HOUSE aide who softened scientific warnings about global warming in government documents has been hired by Exxon Mobil, the oil company.
Philip Cooney, the former chief of staff to President Bush’s Council on Environmental Quality, quit two days after leaked documents disclosed the extent to which he had neutered the conclusions of government scientists.
Mr Cooney will start working for Exxon Mobil at the end of the summer, the Texas-based company said yesterday.
White House officials said that the timing of Mr Cooney’s departure from the Bush Administration and the prompt news of his new job were coincidental. But together they put Mr Bush’s environmental policies under fresh scrutiny weeks before he joins other world leaders for the G8 summit at Gleneagles, at which climate change is high on Tony Blair’s agenda.
Mr Cooney’s handiwork became an embarrassment to the White House when it was revealed last week. The leaked documents showed that he edited environmental documents before their release.
For instance, at one point he inserted the words “significant and fundamental” before the word “uncertainties” in an apparent effort to cloud the stark findings and predictions of scientists. Environmental activists have long accused Mr Bush of allowing big oil interests to dictate his environmental policy.
One of the longest-running battles of the President’s first term was the refusal by Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, to release the names of those who had given evidence to the energy commission he headed.
Critics seized on Mr Cooney’s background when details of his role emerged. Before joining the Bush Administration in 2001 as a senior environmental official, Mr Cooney was a lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, the chief mouthpiece of the oil and gas industry.
Exxon Mobil, like the White House, remains unconvinced by the science linking emissions from fossil fuels with global warming.
The company said yesterday that it had agreed to hire Mr Cooney before the revelation of his interventions caused such a stir, but could not say exactly when, or what his job would be.
White House officials said that they had been aware that Mr Cooney had wanted to leave after four years. He had left suddenly because he had a lot of holiday time owed and had decided to take the summer off, they said.
Tony Cirigliano, a spokesman for Exxon Mobil, said that the company had opposed the Kyoto treaty because it had failed to include emerging industrial economies such as China and India.
He also sought to counter the charges that the oil industry and Bush Administration were in each other’s pockets.
Exxon Mobil has also hired the former press secretary of Joe Lieberman, the Democratic senator who was Al Gore’s running-mate in the 2000 presidential election. “We hire from both sides of the aisle,” he said.