links for 2007-04-15
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New Frontiers in Corrupt Lobbying

The Competitive Enterprise Institute. The Carpetbagger Report introduces Bradford Plumer:

The Carpetbagger Report » Blog Archive » What’s a climate-change denier to do?: So, what’s a group like the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) to do? You remember CEI.... CEI backed into the comedic hall of fame last year when, in an effort to undercut the message of An Inconvenient Truth, the group aired minute-long commercials about the wonders of carbon dioxide. The tagline: “They call it pollution... we call it life.”... CEI is learning to adapt, in part by pretending to shift to the left. Brad Plumer explains.

Although there are still plenty of unabashed global-warming deniers out there... many skeptics are now coalescing around a more moderate-sounding approach. [The group’s director of energy and global warming policy, Myron Ebell] insists that neither he nor his colleagues dispute the fact of global warming as they once did. “We try to react to the scientific research that comes out–and we’ve adjusted our political rhetoric as well,” he says. And adjust they have, developing a new line that goes something like this: Sure, we’ll accept that global warming is occurring and humans bear some responsibility. But it’s hard to predict exactly how bad a warmer world will be. And the proposals for reducing emissions in the United States are all costly and rife with problems. And, even if they could work, we can’t stop climate change because it’s impossible to convince India and China to curb their rapidly growing emissions....

[Y]ou get the odd spectacle of Smith going before the Senate to denounce cap-and-trade... on populist grounds. “The corporations we see baying for a cap-and-trade program are out to enrich themselves without thought for the poor,” he told Congress. (He even pointed out that–horror–Enron had once supported the idea.) Or you get conservative Senator James Inhofe referring to companies that would benefit from a cap-and-trade regime as “climate profiteers”...