Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Maryland's Own Climategate

Some may be aware of the climate change scandal emanating from the leaked emails out of East Anglia University’s Climate Research Unit. However, did you know there is a climate scandal in Maryland? Don’t be too hard on yourself if you didn’t, because as with the CRU story the state’s liberal media outlets aren’t interested in covering this scandal either.

Despite the utterly debunked “consensus” on global warming, Maryland’s climate fear mongers are boring full speed ahead with implementing their own draconian burdens on the state’s economy and taxpayers. And much like the scientists involved in the CRU scandal, our own alarmists don’t want the public to know what they are doing either.

In fact, secrecy has been the hallmark of state climate policy under Governor Martin O’Malley. In 2007, O’Malley hired the Center for Climate Strategies, a global warming alarmist advocacy group, to manage the state climate commission. Initially, the Maryland Department of the Environment refused to release documents pertaining to CCS. Then, after media scrutiny, the department agreed to release the information. However, MDE charged exorbitant fees. MDE billed me over $1,300 for copying charges, even though I requested the information electronically. It will cost you a similar price to find out which special interest groups are writing the regulations (cap and trade) for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act. What did they want to hide?

Perhaps MDE was concerned the public would see a draft memo from CCS instructing them that commission participants, “will not debate the science of climate change.” What’s the point of a commission if the outcome is predetermined? Much like the scientists now under fire, Maryland warmists feared honest debate about global warming.

Maybe MDE doesn’t want the public to know about the left wing environmental foundations funding CCS’ work in Maryland. For example, the board of directors of the progressive Town Creek Foundation in Easton MD, gave CCS a $100,000 grant to “facilitate policy recommendations” for the state climate commission. Donald Boesch, director of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, sits on the Town Creek board. Boesch just also happens to chair the commission’s scientific and technical working group. Town Creek gave UMCES $143,000 over the last three years, $70,000 specifically to assist the commission produce its final climate action plan. Peer review of the plan’s economic analysis by the Beacon Hill Institute revealed that it “offered no worthwhile guidance” for policy makers, and “no basis to judge the merits of its recommendations.”

Town Creek gave over $400,000 to the state’s leading environmental lobbying/activists groups, Environment Maryland and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network to agitate for the GHG Reduction Act. Indeed, Environment Maryland’s director—and commission member—Brad Heavner boasted that his organization was the “lead policy/lobbying group” in passing the bill.
A stacked state commission bought and paid for by environmental foundations. Legislation and policy recommendations, written and formulated by environmental activists paid for by the same environmental foundation. In any state but Maryland that’s a scandal.

2 comments:

Daniel said...

Mark, I take it the doc request to MDE was not under FOI? (Freedom of Information)

Even at that, I find it reprehensible a state agency would charge such an exorbitant fee for information that belongs in a ready condition for public perusal.

You didn't pay that, did you?

Mark Newgent said...

Daniel,

The document request was under the state version of FOIA the Public Information Act. I filed the requests with MDE's PIA liason.

No I didn't pay the fee. The exorbitant charge is their way of hiding the info.

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