Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming

Free Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming by Richard Littlemore James Hoggan

Book: Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming by Richard Littlemore James Hoggan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Richard Littlemore James Hoggan
Tags: POL044000, NAT011000
Fear, was being asked to give climate change briefings to both then-U.S. president George W. Bush and the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, then under the gavel of chair James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma.) Before returning to his home on Canada’s west coast, Ball stopped at the Ottawa Citizen for a meeting with that newspaper’s editorial board. In a taped podcast of that meeting Ball says, “to my knowledge, I have never received a nickel from the oil and gas companies.” Prodded about who was financing his cross-Canada speaking tour—picking up his expenses and paying him for his appearances—he says, “I made a point of not trying to find out who pays me.” 4 Pressed further, Ball acknowledged that the High Park Group was paying his expenses in Ottawa. High Park, which had been Tom Harris’s employer immediately before Harris launched the NRSP, states on its own Web site, highpark “Our client work is focused on natural resource and infrastructure sectors including power generation, energy transmission, transportation, and mining.”
    With a bit more investigation, it became obvious that High Park was more than a periodic funding source. Sleuthing about early in 2007, DeSmogBlog’s Kevin Grandia discovered that two of the three directors on the board of the NRSP were senior High Park executives. Timothy Egan was the president of the High Park Advocacy Group and a retired lobbyist for the Canadian Gas Association and the Canadian Electricity Association. Julio Legos was the High Park Group’s director of regulatory affairs, and his High Park biography said, “Julio’s practice at HPG is focused on federal and provincial energy and environmental law and policy, particularly as they affect Canadian industry.” 5, 6
    Creating the NRSP as an “arm’s-length,” “grassroots” organization enabled High Park to avoid identifying who was paying for the NRSP’s public campaign against climate change regulations. The Canadian government restricts this kind of “grassroots” lobbying under the Lobbyists Registration Act , subject to an important loophole. The question and answer section under the “General Registration Requirements” of the act states:
    4. What is “grass-roots” lobbying?
    Grass-roots lobbying is a communications technique that encourages individual members of the public or organizations to communicate directly with public office holders in an attempt to influence the decisions of government. Such efforts primarily rely on use of the media or advertising, and result in mass letter writing and facsimile campaigns, telephone calls to public office holders, and public demonstrations.
    But in setting up the NRSP as a de facto subcontractor, High Park was able to claim an exception, which is also explained in the Q&A section of the registration requirements:
    5. I am involved in organizing and directing a grass-roots lobbying campaign. Do I have to register?
    If you are a registered lobbyist, you must report grassroots lobbying as a communications technique. If you are not engaged in any registerable lobbying activity, it is not necessary to register for the grass-roots lobbying campaign. 7
    So Tom Harris dropped off the lobbyist registry and moved his office across the hall (the NRSP mailing address was #2-263 Roncesvalles Avenue in Toronto; High Park’s address was #4-263 Roncesvalles Avenue), after which he was able to carry out this “grassroots” campaign against energy industry regulation without incurring what the Lobbyist Act describes as the “obligation to provide accurate information to public office holders and to disclose the identity of the person or organization on whose behalf the representation is made and the purpose of the representation.”
    The federal lobbyists registry was created specifically so that politicians and members of the public can know who is paying to influence the political decision-making process. To that end the

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