Billionaire money at work: Right-wingers are being urged to cooperate to trash President Obama’s clean energy plans. The approach specifies an attack on wind turbines and provides a list of suggested approaches. So says the Guardian after viewing a confidential memorandum edited by John Droz Jr., a senior fellow at the American Tradition Institute. Senior fellow and climate-change denier.
Droz is a long-time anti-wind activist who claims the technology is unsound and the benefits non-existent. This no doubt will come as a surprise to Iowans, whose state generated 19 percent of its electricity with wind turbines in 2011.
Droz has repeatedly urged anti-wind activists to develop an “effective National PR Plan.” The memo, which has been seen by reporters at The Guardian and Stephen Lacey at Think Progress, seems to be the blueprint for such a plan. ATI claims it has no connection to the memo. That may be so, but it sounds precisely like something it would produce having for years been in the business of climate-change denial, attacking state-level efforts at building renewable energy infrastructure and trashing environmental controls.
Suzanne Goldenberg writes that ATI is in coalition with like-minded “thinktanks and networks united by their efforts to discredit climate science and their close connections to the oil and gas industry, including the Koch family.” Included are the Heartland Institute, whose vile climate-change billboards featuring the Unabomber have generated a firestorm of outrage, the John Locke Foundation and Americans for Prosperity, the tea party-funding operation founded by the Koch brothers.
The [memo], authored by Illinois anti-wind attorney Rich Porter and edited by Droz, outlines in great detail how a national PR campaign would function. The group’s campaign efforts would include outreach to a who’s who of conservative media outlets and think tanks already working to discredit renewable energy: Fox News, The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Heartland Institute, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and Americans for Prosperity.
It makes clear that the campaign should appear to be a grassroots groundswell of opposition to the use of wind power.
• Youth Outreach will create program for public school coordination as well as college coordination. This will include community activity and participation with sponsorships for science fairs, school activity etc. with preset parameters that cause students to steer away from wind because they discover it doesn’t meet the criteria we set up (poster contest, essays etc).
• Set up a dummy business that will go into communities considering wind development, proposing to build 400 foot billboards.
• Create a “think-tank” subgroup to produce and disseminate white paper reports and scientific quotes and papers that back-up the message.
• Employ a well-known spokesman with star credibility. (Find one to volunteer?)
• Create counter-intelligence branch (responsible for communicating current industry tactics and strategies as feedback to this organization)
• Write exposé book on the industry, showing government waste, harm to communities and other negative impacts on people and the environment.
• A team investigates links to any organization supporting wind in order to expose that support.
This is just one more operation designed to chip a few more votes away from Obama’s total in November. The president has been a friend to the oil industry, opening up new land—including vast off-shore acreage—to drilling. He is encouraging the export of coal to China. But this support for the fossil fuels magnates is not good enough. To be a real friend in the view of Droz and the Kochs and all their beneficiaries, Obama must also be an enemy of renewable energy sources.
As he proved Tuesday with his speech in Albany that included extension of the production tax credit subsidy for electricity generated by solar, wind and geothermal sources and with the billions of dollars put into spurring more development and commercialization of renewable technologies, he is not going to be that enemy.
Droz’s plans may be more subtle than to link Obama to the Unabomber, but his intent is the same. Demonization. It’s an old schtick no matter what new method is used to spread it.