16
Jun
2005

Outrage is the Only Word

What You Can Do

1) Contact your Senators //www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=20345343&url_num=1&url=//www.2020vision.org/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=869
and urge them to vote against the pending Energy Bill. We need to ensure that energy independence is achieved through increased fuel economy and investment in renewable resources. Nothing is achieved by giving money to the energy companies.

2) Join the Stop ExxonMobil Alliance to express your anger at this example of bad corporate citizenship.
//www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=20345343&url_num=2&url=//www.stopexxonmobil.org/ The revolving door is driven by the companies that pay for it, and it has to stop.

We've all heard about the political "revolving door," in which private sector influence peddlers join the government for a time, and then return to lobbying at vastly increased salaries. Frequently, the revolving door is at the root of some of the most outrageous government decisions. And all too often, we fail to notice how private industry takes over the government, and rewards those who do its bidding.

That's why we think it's important to spread the word about this story.
//www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=20345343&url_num=3&url=//www.nytimes.com/2005/06/15/science/14cnd-climate.html?hp&ex=1118808000&en=5cd3e1222ecd6bea&ei=5094&partner=homepage

Phillip Cooney is a former lawyer and lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, the main lobbying arm for the oil industry. He has no scientific training, but that didn't stop him from becoming chief of staff to President Bush's environmental policy commission.

Mr. Cooney obviously failed to notice the difference between working as a lawyer and lobbyist for private industry and serving the public as a government employee. The New York Times reported that he repeatedly revised government scientific reports on global warming in ways that cast doubt on the link between greenhouse-gas emissions and rising temperatures. In the wake of those news reports, Cooney announced that he was stepping down from his government position.

But Mr. Cooney was not destined to become an unemployment statistic. ExxonMobil hired him immediately, though they declined to say what they were hiring him to do. The revolving door has swung again, and, again, we pay the price.

I wish this story were unique. But it's not. Industry lobbyists are hard at work right now to pass the "Energy Bill." The bill is a conglomerate of giveaways to the energy industry. Even supporters acknowledge that the bill would do little to ensure reductions in oil imports, the prime stated goal of the bill. Instead, the Senate energy bill prolongs our dependence on foreign oil, wastes taxpayer money to subsidize big energy companies, and opens the door for drilling in Western Arctic Alaska and other wild lands.

That's why we're joining with our allies in the environmental movement to stop this bill.
//www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=20345343&url_num=4&url=//www.2020vision.org/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=869
The Senate is scheduled to begin debate this week, and is expected to vote within the next two weeks on the bill. And while the energy companies have money with which to buy influence, the environmental community has a much more important resource: ourselves.

Please, take a moment to contact your Senators.
//www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=20345343&url_num=5&url=//www.2020vision.org/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=869
Let them know where you stand. Let them know that you believe our energy future must include environmental protection. Remind them that the air we breathe and the climate in which we live is not a perk, but our birthright, and our children's birthrights.

Then, consider joining an alliance of environmental, human rights and pro-democracy groups who are focusing on putting pressure on ExxonMobil. From its corrupting influence in Washington, where it has spent over $47 million on lobbying in the last 8 years, to it efforts to corrupt the global warming debate, to its complicity in human rights violations, ExxonMobil has been a bad corporate citizen. Add your voice to those calling for change.

The revolving door is spinning again, and corporations are looking to profit from it. Now is the time to stop it. Now is the time to say, "Enough!"

Ron Zucker
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