Yesterday Rhode Island U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse once again used his office to promote the agenda of party donors such as green billionaire Tom Steyer, and other environmental activists, taking to the U.S. Senate floor and using official business time to attack the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal), other free-market pro-liberty groups, and those who are frustrating his and his allies’ political agenda.
In a rambling statement relying on half-truths, shoddy research, and innuendo, Whitehouse accused E&E Legal of being a front group for fossil fuels. He also specifically expressed fear that E&E Legal Senior Legal Fellow Chris Horner, an attorney in Washington, DC, has published books in opposition to Whitehouse’s agenda — bestselling books, we might add, including one which spent half a year on the New York Times best-seller list, thanks for asking, Senator! Mr. Whitehouse embarrassingly implied he has read two of Horner’s books while revealing he is merely poorly staffed (whichever group is staffing him at present).
“Sadly, Rhode Island has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, and is facing one of the most devastating drug overdose problems in America,” said Executive Director Craig Richardson. “I’m sure the good people of The Ocean State could use a Senator in Washington who is more concerned with these and other real issues facing them rather than wasting his time playing politics as usual and dancing to the tune of his party’s donors.”
Whitehouse has served as point man in these coordinated attacks against groups and individuals who dare challenge the ‘climate change’ narrative since at least March 2014 when he led a group of Senators on their first Senate ‘sleepover.’
As noted by the Washington Post at the time, the effort was largely about “campaign cash.” The Post added that “Environmental groups spent about $20 million on ads and other activities to help Democrats in 2012 and gave about $742,000 directly to candidates during the cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.”
Another key actor identified by the Post is Steyer, who despite making his billions investing in coal-fired power plants, is now a born-again ‘climate change’ activist, most likely due to his significant ‘green energy’ portfolio which benefits heavily from ‘climate change’ policy’s push for ‘renewable energy.’ “Then there’s the billionaire businessman Thomas Steyer. He’s quickly emerged as a new and much-needed source of campaign money for Democrats eager to find ways to match the rise of conservative donors who are using new super PACs to spend millions of dollars attacking congressional Democrats on the airwaves.”
Fast forward to the summer of 2016 and Whitehouse along with eighteen other Democrat Senators used the U.S. Senate floor for a 2-day orchestrated attack on free market groups who dare challenge ‘climate change’ policies. E&E Legal was again singled out during the campaign stunt by New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Sheehan, someone who E&E Legal’s previous report had exposed as improperly colluding with green activists in writing significant legislation.
Given the memos from the Democratic Governors Association E&E Legal has obtained, expressly recruiting their members to promote this agenda for Steyer and an activist group he “founded and funds” to advance those investments, these efforts certainly appear to be payoffs for the significant amount of money the Democrat Party’s number one donor Steyer is larding out. ‘Climate change’ is Steyer’s one and only issue as E&E Legal’s July report, Buying the Democrat Party Lock, Stock and Barrel, clearly details.
In addition to bankrolling these coordinated U.S. Senate floor attacks, Steyer also paid for a ‘climate change’ plank in the Democrat Party platform. A chart in the E&E Legal report clearly shows that the language between Steyer’s NextGen Climate Change Goals is nearly verbatim what appears in the party’s platform.
“Congressional approval ratings are in the tank these days, and it’s exactly because of the addiction to absurd acting-out we keep seeing from Whitehouse and his cronies,” said Richardson. “Particularly now that we see how you are merely mouthing words provided you by outside activist lawyers, shame on you Senator.”
The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) is a 501(c)(3) organization engaged in strategic litigation, policy research, and public education on important energy and environmental issues. Primarily through its petition litigation and transparency practice areas, E&E Legal seeks to correct onerous federal and state policies that hinder the economy, increase the cost of energy, eliminate jobs, and do little or nothing to improve the environment.