Who Runs Climate Change? - News Hunt Results
We recently completed a week-long News Hunt on environmental lobbying, in partnership with the Washington Post's WhoRunsGov. From November 16 through 23 we asked: Who runs climate change? We focused on the lobbyists working to influence climate change legislation in the U.S. Congress. Our search covered the environmental, energy and business lobbies, and a range of environmental issues to be discussed in coming months, once Congress resumes its debate on Climate Change in early 2010.WhoRunsGov, a new website from the Washington Post, features profiles of lobbyists, government officials and experts that the public can research and edit collaboratively, wiki-style. For this project, they asked readers to help fill in the profiles of a range of lobbyists who hold sway in the climate change debate, based in part on some of the best journalism we could find on this issue. Among the individuals profiled during this News Hunt were Steve Miller, President of the American Association of Clean Coal; David G. Hawkins, of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Jay Timmons, of the National Association of Manufacturers; and many more.
For a full listing of the lobbyists profiled on WhoRunsGov, check their Who Runs Climate Change page. Although our News Hunt has ended, we encourage you, if this project interests you, to help flesh out these profiles on their site. Your contributions will help bring transparency to the climate change debate.
Top Rated Stories
To find good journalism about the top environmental lobbyists, we had to dig deeper than usual. Recent stories on this topics were scarce and many lost relevance when Congressional leaders announced early in the week that they would postpone debate over climate change legislation until spring. Nevertheless, we turned up a sampling of stories that our community gave high marks to. Here's the best of what we found:
• "A case of lowered expectations" - Center for Public Integrity
Our top-rated story, this extensive report detailed the workings of some 2,800 lobbyists, many of them former government officials, attempting to sway lawmakers on climate change legislation.
• "Environmental groups debate new tack in climate change fight" - Washington Post
The Post looked at recent environmental campaigns that have softened their message on climate change to focus on jobs rather than doomsday scenarios.
• "NAM speaks softly on climate change -- does it carry a big stick?" - ClimateWire
Why has the National Association of Manufacturers, known for criticism of global warming, suddenly fallen silent on climate issues? This story sought answers.
• "Chamber's Donohue keeps cash coming after PG&E, Apple defect" - Bloomberg
This story covered the latest efforts of Tom Donohue, the pugnacious president of the Chamber of Commerce, to counter bad publicity about the group's opposition to a climate change bill. In a similar story, the New York Times profiled Donohue.
• "Chevron's lobby campaign backfires" - Politico
Politico reported on Chevron's attempts to lobby against a pollution case in an Ecuadorian court.
• "US climate legislation and lobbyists" - GRIID
This blog post rounded up critiques of the House's American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.
Check our full listing of top rated stories and all posts from this News Hunt -- and feel free to review or submit more recent stories on our Lobbying topic page.
Thanks to our partners
We'd like to give a big thanks to WhoRunsGov for joining us in this fascinating partnership -- and for the excellent work they do on a daily basis profiling the "unofficial Washington." It's an honor to be associated with such an important project. This collaboration would not have been possible without Rachel Von Dongen, Mary Duncan and Amanda Erickson of WhoRunsGov. Thank you for inviting our community to combine efforts with yours -- we all learned a lot in the process.
Next week: Climate Change with Link TV
This Friday we're teaming up again with our partners at Link TV to continue our search for quality journalism about climate change. From December 7 through 18, world leaders will convene in Copenhagen to negotiate cuts in emissions and address other issues related to global climate change. What can we expect from the talks? Is a globally enforceable deal possible? What concessions are the United States and China likely to make? What will happen if the negotiations collapse? Help us get this important News Hunt rolling early by reviewing (or posting) a story on our Climate Change topic page today.
- by Derek Hawkins, with Kaizar Campwala and Fabrice Florin