Climate

Four climate lobbyists for every member of Congress

Given that climate legislation will touch every sector of the economy — and ultimately generate hundreds of billions of dollars from the sale of emissions allowances — it is no surprise that everyone is bringing on hired guns.

But Washington DC is turning into the Wild West, into Deadwood, as an important new Center for Public Integrity analysis (here) of Senate lobbying disclosure forms makes clear:

More than 770 companies and interest groups hired an estimated 2,340 lobbyists to influence federal policy on climate change in the past year, as the issue gathered momentum and came to a vote on Capitol Hill. That’s an increase of more than 300 percent in the number of lobbyists on climate change in just five years, and means that Washington can now boast more than four climate lobbyists for every member of Congress. It also means that 15 percent of all Washington lobbyists spent at least some of their time on global warming in 2008.

Here is a breakdown by sector (click to enlarge):

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And many of these 2340 lobbyists are quite senior and influential:

The ranks of the lobbyists include a who’s who of ex-members of Congress, from former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt, a Missouri Democrat, to former House Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Livingston, a Louisiana Republican. Among the former Capitol Hill staffers who are engaged on global warming are Drew Maloney, former top aide to then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, and Andrew Athy, a former counsel to Representative John Dingell, who later chaired the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Numbered among the executive branch veterans now in the climate fray are Jack Quinn, White House lawyer to President Clinton, and Wayne Berman, assistant commerce secretary under President George H.W. Bush.

I guess it’s true what they say: If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog lobbyist.
For the full Center for Public Integrity analysis and discussion, by staff writer Marianne Lavelle, go here. For a shorter version, read the Politico article here.

3 Responses to Four climate lobbyists for every member of Congress

  1. The trendline rise in lobbying seems to mirror the AGW hockey stick.

    They are going to need many more lobbyists to hide the inevitable consequences of global warming.

    Lets think beyond the example of the health insurance lobby which did so much damage because it dealt with politics, money and health – so easily malleable. The global warming lobbyist must deal with politics and physical sciences – which cannot be denied, and will manifest in increasingly bad ways. So one tactic is to deny the flow of information… pull the slide, cancel the satellite, refuse CO2 linkage, deny any weather event or fire could be AGW caused, protect the Inhofe based data sets, and protect carbon fuel industries at any cost.

    The lobbying effort required will grow exponentially as it becomes less effective and struggles harder with the reality of increased pain. More hockey stick.

    The terrifying conclusion that lobbyists want to deflect is that:

    Carbon fuels should be used only for manufacturing clean energy, then should be shut down completely.

    All lobbying will be aimed at ignoring this science-based edict.

  2. Ray says:

    THE SUSTAIN GAMES
    publically consulted corporate transparency
    (economy/security/environment)

    Corporate Sustainability is a business approach that creates long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks deriving from economic, environmental, and social developments. Corporate sustainability leaders achieve long-term shareholder value creation by gearing their strategies and management to harness the market’s potential for sustainability products and services while at the same time successfully reducing and avoiding sustainability costs and risks.

    The quality of a company’s strategy and management and its performance in dealing with opportunities and risks deriving from economic, environmental, and social developments can be quantified and used to identify and select leading companies for investment purposes.

    Corporate sustainability performance is an investable concept. This is crucial in driving interest and investments in sustainability to the mutual benefit of companies and investors. As this benefit circle strengthens, it will have a positive effect on the societies and economies of both the developed and developing world.

    –Dow Jones, 2003

    Purpose of the Sustain Games

    Simply put, to entertain the idea of corporate sustainability.

    To accomplish this I propose developing an interactive reality television series that will promote standards of corporate citizenry, while profiting those corporations involved. The Sustain games will set new corporate performance standards and will enlarge success criteria to include environmental mindfulness, social contribution, and conscious advocacy. All without compromise to the bottom line, but rather with popular corporate support.

    The Sustain Games will not only entertain, but give the viewing audience personal influence in altering their economic security, social circumstance, and environmental protection for the better. All in the form of a cool television show. A collaboration of the best elements of Survivor, American Idol, Amazing Race, Fear factor, Eco-Challenge, X-Games, and the Super Bowl incorporated into an original race format.

    Race start

    The show begins long before the race starts. It begins with celebrity endorsements and a marketing campaign wherein competing corporations (5) within an industry each promote as a footnote during the course of normal advertising that they are going to choose teams for the greatest race ever. A race where everyone is the winner, including the audience. Where the viewer crosses the finish line and wins prizes alongside the competitors.

    Celebrity and corporate advertising clips lead up to a Pre-game show, which is basically more advertising. The Pre-game show reveals the philosophy of each corporation in their field team selection process. How they chose their competitors and why these particular employees are especially adept at long distance, eco-survival, elimination challenge races.

    Interviews with the individual competitors (their backgrounds, education/work history, personal interests/capabilities), the peer pressure/envy, neighbour and family excitement. The incentives each corporation is offering if they win. The outrageous prizes offered by the show itself.

    Interviews with the CEO’s. Their company’s message. What they hope to achieve in competition. Why they will rise to any challenge ahead of their competitors. Why they are already the most sustainable company in their industry. And on and on.

    Essentially the Pre-game is marketing for each corporation, audience competitor familiarity, and audience introduction to the format of the race.

    -1-

    Race Format

    A five-stage “baton-relay”, extreme challenge, wilderness survival, long distance, orienteering type of race with five teams of five (one from each of five multi-national corporations, comprised of selected employees of those corporations) through various climatic zones/geographic areas where the baton is passed between the corporate offices and the team in the field.

    Teams spend one to four days on course undergoing well considered elimination challenges that are akin to the stunts, challenges, and activities currently on Survivor, Fear Factor, Amazing Race, Eco-Challenge, and X-Games. They endure outrageous endurance and survival type course obstacles.

    If a field team member cannot accomplish challenges they are ineligible to continue that stage (are taken out of race stage (1 of 5) and the overall power of the related company decreases for that stage’s Key Challenge. The format accommodates considerable pressure to push beyond one’s limits for your company, your coworkers, and family watching at home.

    Individuals eliminated loose personal reward/prize for incompletion of stage.

    Remaining field team members, after enduring the elements, the course with it’s obstacles/challenges/hazards, over the course of one to four days arrive at the FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) camp. (3/4 to stage finish.)

    The FAQ camp is divided into five campsites. Each “campsite” being equipped to a degree relative to the position of each field teams arrival. While the first place team’s site may well have luxury shelter, provisions and amenities to be ridiculously comfortable, the four remaining are in various degrees of want. Maybe third place camp has enough shelter, but not enough beds. Perhaps fourth place camp has beds, but shelter only for one. The last place camp basically has nothing but five cold, hungry, weary, and pissed-off campers who have to contend with what may be a harsh venue. The logistical circumstances of each camp and what each team is faced with varies greatly between first and fifth place. The contrast of circumstance and relative difficulty is captured and edited for entertainment value.

    On the night of arrival of all five field teams at the FAQ camp they are gathered in a common area and presented with a FAQ by a surprise guest celebrity.

    A FAQ is related to a Key Challenge. One of five sustainability challenges formulated into an industry specific question/issue. Perhaps a sustainability issue formulated into a question by a related NGO (UNICEF, The Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Sierra Club, Green Peace, World Wildlife Fund, World Health Organization, ect.) that industries may already be addressing in their own ways, but may not have competitively disclosed their efforts within any conventional advertising effort.

    -2-

    Key Challenges:

    Environmental Challenge – Level of dedication to the environment within the regions that multinationals operate.

    2. Economic Challenge – Level of dedication to communities and regions in which multinationals operate.

    3. Humanitarian Challenge – Level of dedication to social/humanitarian causes within the regions that multinationals operate.

    4. Technological Challenge – Level of dedication to research and development of alternative, more sustainable technologies. Greener, better, resource friendly, technological advancements.

    5. Conscious Challenge – Level of dedication to the conscious well being of their work force through encouraging not just growth in production, but also personal and corporate growth in the areas of peace.

    During the race, as there are five Key Challenges, corporate teams will be presented with an FAQ from one of these areas of sustainability, but won’t know which field of challenge they will face until arrival and the FAQ camp. For example, they won’t know if they just arrived at the Humanitarian Challenge camp, or the Technological Challenge camp.

    The FAQs are presented by a new celebrity each week. A surprise guest perhaps with a personal interest in the area of challenge. They come out around a campfire, do a little dance, sing a little song, tell a joke, whatever the case, and present the FAQ, perhaps commenting on why it is personally important to them. Raise a thought provoking challenge faced by everyone (including the audience), and wish everyone good luck and good night.

    Before the next show (Each stage is three shows) corporate offices, on equal grounds with their four biggest competitors, must formulate what they think is a winning proposal (not necessarily a perfect solution, but a more creative remedy) for how best to meet the challenge. The scramble for the corporate response is captured, bringing corporate America into the reality spotlight and race drama. Making C.E.O.s, V.P.s, and anyone caught in the boardroom a celebrity. Also revealing the humanness of the decision making process, and complexities of sustainability issues.

    While the corporations are formulating a winning (two minute promo of past, present, and future good intention towards the challenge/question) response with their advertising/PR firms, their respective field team is left to their devices, and must survive at their camp without outside assistance.
    -3-

    Maybe in the arctic. Maybe adrift amidst the islands of the South Pacific. Maybe on the corner of an inner city ghetto. Maybe on top of a third world train going in opposite direction of where they just struggled to race through. Maybe out a plane tandem skydiving into drop zones of varying distance from the finish line. Maybe in a refugee camp. Maybe in any number of outrageously entertaining, potentially extremely challenging locations. Camps in no way have to be fixed, fair, or what one would imagine as a place of rest. With the exception of the first place camp, they are locations that challenge the physical endurance, mental fortitude, and competitive spirit of the field teams. They highlight the need for corporate decision expediency.

    The second episode consists of panning between the ten settings (the corporate headquarters and the perhaps dire condition of the respective field team) and editing those with entertainment value.

    As the FAQ responses are formulated by each corporation and submitted/entered, that company’s field team can then continue with the race. Coming out of the FAQ camp field teams are staggered in order of corporate response for the final leg of the race stage.

    There are considerable personal incentives (provided by their corporations and the show itself) for the first, second, and third place field teams to finish the race stage (1 of 5). The fourth and fifth place teams don’t qualify for a field team reward for that stage, but may win prizes/incentives in a later stage.

    As the field teams are completing the fourth quarter of the race stage, and are dashing for the finish line, the corporate FAQ responses (two minute promos) are simulcast (split-screen) to the television audience.

    The second episode wraps up with ceremonies of congratulations for the first three field teams and hype over the fantastic prizes the just won (salary bonuses/trips/new cars/cruises/the Earth and sky). Condolences, interviews, and encouragement for the last two teams.

    Elimination of a member from each team placing second through fifth (provided team has more than three standing/surviving members). CEOs draw who gets cut from the field team based on their intuition of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

    A team in good position may have a full field team compliment of five while those teams not fairing as well may have as few as, but not fewer than three members. For each field team member that is eliminated that corporation loses voting strength in the Finish Forum.

    -4-

    Finish Forum

    The third episode of each stage consists of the finish forum.

    Between the second episode (where FAQ responses of each corporation are revealed) and the third the audience is invited to vote (online and via text messaging) as to which corporation they think has the best response.

    The audience comprises 50% of the total vote for each stage, with the remaining voting strength (50%) being comprised of the field team members in selecting the Key Challenge winner for each stage. Corporate (field team) voting strength is diminished by poor course (field team) and FAQ (corporate team) performance. That portion of voting strength lost transfers to the audience in the next stage, but may be regained in later stages should a corporation score a landslide in any future arena of challenge.

    While it may be assumed that the field teams would remain loyal to their respective corporation in casting their votes, this may not be the case based on how long their corporate team let them languish in the FAQ camp. They may also be swayed toward a competing corporation if it
    presented a clearly superior FAQ response to their own. For these reasons the field teams voting will be anonymous/confidential (similar to the voting on Survivor, with each vote simply being placed in a container and revealed one at a time without knowing who cast which vote).

    Corporate innovative ability (past, present, and future initiative) is judged at each stage finale and throughout the overall race by the audience and the field team members.

    Presentation of banners to the winner. Ceremonies of congratulations. Commentary from the winner as well as the runners up. Editorial on stage outcome (perhaps commentary on what merits won and why other FAQ responses were slightly lacking in comparison. Celebrity endorsements/opinions of what just happened. Lead up to next stage.

    Through this format the race has multiple interrelated storylines. No shortage of dramatic racing fuel. There are actually three races within The Sustain Games. The personal, the field team, and the corporate. Three finish lines for each stage. Three times the action, prizes, audience
    participation and excitement.

    The timeline is repeated five times (once for each Key Challenge) with editorial build up (location, race challenges/events, forecasts, commentaries, competitor/celebrity interviews, ect.) for each stage and respective Key Challenge.

    -5-

    Titles

    Any company that wins a Key Challenge can claim superiority in that aspect of the overall race (presented banners “Humanitarian Challenge” winner 2009 to be hung at corporate headquarters). Every corporation has five chances to promote good standing with consumers and investors on a scale never before.

    While there is only one overall winner; that company that best retains its voting strength throughout all five race challenges, and achieves majority voting endorsement at the end of all five sustainability stages. That company that best runs (field team) and passes (corporate team) the baton.

    Win title of Sustain Game Gold medalist, Silver, and Bronze. A total of eight titles to be won by five corporations (making low odds of any company being left in the cold).

    The N.Y.S.E. and the L.A.S.I.

    The Los Angeles Sustainability Index is the west coast’s response to the N.Y.S.E.. While the New York Stock Exchange embodies much of cold hard capitalism, the western equivalent exemplifies it in a softer way. While one is increasingly dependant on corporate deception yielding large individual gain, the opposite draws on the value of corporate transparency towards widespread public gain.

    The most significant aspect of this television concept is not the television concept at all, but the development of a Sustainability Investment Index. The show is publicity for corporations in inviting consumer and investor loyalty by effectively advertising good intention.

    The objective of The Sustain Games is to launch a television show outrageous and cool enough to publicize sustainability initiatives, increase awareness of them among consumers, acceptance of them with investors, and subscription to them within the corporate community through creation of an index affiliated with a popular television show.

    The Sustain Games Index could become the first internationally launched and publicly recognized set of corporate sustainability standards. Launched, not from an impersonal black and white boring newspaper, but from a high profile, star studded, Hollywood, interactive television/internet platform that may be big enough to spark a change in consumer consciousness. Not just a TV reality adventure race, but all that, and as a branch of broadcast operations an investment index relevant to the interests of the general public.

    -6-

    The Sustain Games intends to offer corporate registration incentives. Invite any company to freely register with The Sustain Games Index and, as enticement, randomly select (lottery style) companies for a free television plug during programming. Somehow work in a big time TV ad into the race course and show production. Give away a shot to creatively advertise your product/company on the same stage that major corporations are using.

    Registration is basically and agreement to index their company, in exchange that they formulate and self impose a sustainability strategy. Simply choose areas of charity within the Key Challenge fields of Humanitarian, Environmental, Economic, Technological, Consciousness and decide how much and to what area they see fit to contribute. Knowing that their areas of interest and level of dedication will be indexed alongside corporations of similar size in the same industry. Also knowing that independent certification of their claims (sustainability audit/accountability certification) would be performed in due course of index processing.

    This reality show could emerge into an annual series. More than a TV show on a network. More than an extreme reality race competition. An indexing network, and industry friendly marketing machine, interactive product polling, corporate sustainability research and development public consultation and certification firm.

    In this way, massive infrastructure deficits could be creatively reduced without increased taxation. Rather with the power of entertainment and competition, and by correlating the sustainability movement with the patriotic duty of corporations.

    Corporate Sustainability is a business approach that creates long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks deriving from economic, environmental, and social developments. Corporate sustainability leaders achieve long-term shareholder value creation by gearing their strategies and management to harness the market’s potential for sustainability products and services while at the same time successfully reducing and avoiding sustainability costs and risks.

    The quality of a company’s strategy and management and its performance in dealing with opportunities and risks deriving from economic, environmental, and social developments can be quantified and used to identify and select leading companies for investment purposes.

    Corporate sustainability performance is an investable concept. This is crucial in driving interest and investments in sustainability to the mutual benefit of companies and investors. As this benefit circle strengthens, it will have a positive effect on the societies and economies of both the developed and developing world.

    –Dow Jones, 2003

    -7-

  3. Eli Rabett says:

    Eli rather suspects that a number of that 2300 are double counted (same person two clients, you worry about the ethics, them’s lobbyists)