The New Republic offered continued coverage of Jared Heern's new study, which looked at the bios of 818 public utility commissioners serving in all 50 states from 2000-2020 and found that 25% had worked in the fossil fuel or utility industries, compared to 19% with a background in environmental regulation.
The CDL’s Jared Heern recently published a study examining the professional backgrounds of the 818 utility commissioners who served across all 50 states between 2000 and 2020. He found that 25% of those commissioners had previously worked in the utility or fossil fuel industry, compared to 19% with an environmental background. Read more in the Los Angeles Times.
This column from ecoRI News highlights the climate obstruction research of Timmons Roberts, Robert Brulle, and the CDL as a whole. "We wanted to find what are the forces that are driving inaction, not just inaction, but corrosive counteractions, really rabid anti-climate action in the United States," Roberts said of the team's work.
Robert Brull eco-authored a guest blog for GreenBuildingAdvisor.com that explores the oil and gas sector’s major spending on advertising, lobbying, and political contributions. This matters, Brulle says, “not just because of the enormous sums the [industry] groups are spending, but also because they often act as a command center for political campaigns to kill pro-climate policies.”
EcoRI News reports on a CDL study which found that Green Oceans, a local citizens group that lobbies against offshore wind projects, uses disinformation tactics taken directly from national climate change denial organizations and obstructionists funded by the fossil fuel industry. Timmons Roberts commented, “It is important for people to have their own perspective about whether they want energy infrastructure in their neighborhoods, but they don’t get to make up their own facts.”
Timmons Roberts provided commentary for ecoRI News on the systemic blocking of renewable energy efforts. “These are usually people with a lot of social capital,” Roberts said of groups that block renewable energy efforts. “On issue after issue, many have no scientific background whatsoever. They are raising fear and hysteria.”
Robert Brulle co-authored a study examining the political spending of nearly 90 U.S. trade associations over 10 years, and found that these organizations spent $3.4 billion on climate-related political activities. But the money didn't go towards lobbying or campaigns, NationofChange reports — it went to advertising and promotion.
“The CDL is pretty unique among university research labs. We’re providing timely research capacity for those seeking to advance action on the existential issue of our society: climate change.”
J. Timmons Roberts