Potential Problems with the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group

Rewind to December 2006:  Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty announced his Next Generation Energy Initiative, which included the “development of a comprehensive plan to reduce Minnesota’s emissions of greenhouse gas emissions (GGE).” He established the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group (MCCAG), a group of community leaders, to assist him in the development of state-level GGE public policy recommendations.

The Governor also hired Center for Climate Strategies (CCS), a consultant to manage MCCAG and the overall process.  CCS’s estimated cost for the year-long project is $410,0000 (see page 12 of the MCCAG Action Plan). But the state is offered a sweetheart deal. CCS had access to financial grants through its affiliate,  Enterprising Environment Solutions, Inc., helping to lower the total price of its services to $40,000, less than 10% of the actual cost.

A shrewd business person might have asked, “What’s the catch?”  But this question was apparently never asked as the state proceeded to complete a grant contract with EESI.  A little due diligence would have revealed that CCS is actually the work of a left-wing environmental advocacy group called The Pennsylvania Environmental Council. Further investigation would have revealed that the grant money arranged by EESI was coming from deep-pocketed liberal environmental groups, like the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. 

Fast Forward to March 2008:   MCCAG has drafted its policy recommendationsand is preparing to issue its final report.  Several bills incorporating some of MCCAG’s preliminary recommendations have already been introduced in the state legislature (SF2818, SF0481, SF3337).  But some policy realists are beginning to question the objectivity of CCS and the outcomes of its process.  Many recommendations included in Minnesota’s report look remarkably similar to those of other states where CCS had been hired to manage their climate commissions.  Critiques of CCS and its work are beginning to surface around the nation.

How much did Governor Pawlenty know about CCS and its affiliates prior to hiring them to do this project?  Did the state knowingly hire an environmental activist group disguised as a consultancy and then accept money from liberal foundations to fund the work?  Is the MCCAG simply a ruse to provide the appearance of legitimacy?  Most members of MCCAG probably had no idea that their good names were going to be used to sanction what appears to be a predetermined outcome shaped by liberal environmentalists.  But now that the facts are becoming public, one might expect some MCCAG members to step forward with dissenting opinions, or perhaps even resign from the commission.

So far, there has been little scrutiny of CCS or its affiliates by the mainstream media.  Which begs the question of what would have been the media’s reaction if a conservative environmental group, such as the Heartland Institute, had been hired as the state’s “consultant” to assist in the development of its environmental public policy, and the group’s work was funded by deep-pocketed foundations with a bias that opposes global warming?

  • Bob

    Get more billboards put up!!!! I nearly nearly yelled out loud in elation today when I saw the sign on I-94 between Mpls. and St. Paul.
    Keep fighting the good fight!!

  • Al

    I saw the billboard I wish we had money like you guys then maybe we’d give you some competition. At least your exposing this, as the Carbon credits & the environmental bills are following the ENRON model for “energy brokering”. We all know about Enron http://encarta.msn.com/media_701610605/the_fall_of_enron_stock.html

    I attended the american Experiment’s Luncheon and it looks like the business community has all but given up and decided the validity is no longer in debate only whether to have “cap & trade” or Carbon Taxes they are leaning toward carbon taxes. To quote an associate of mine, “they are taking the approach of a battered housewife hoping to lessen the beatings rather then stop them outright.” maybe if we just appease them they won’t take so much of our money… yeah right! read more here:

    http://www.m4gw.com:2005/m4gw/2008/02/american_experiment_luncheon_f.html

  • Stan Meyer

    I wish I could find the BBC broadcast that was done back in the late 70s or early 80s that stated that the coming crisis is global polution and cooling and that a worldwide system to regulate national polution. I think that broadcast would do more to convince people that the alarm is false and that there has been an organized effort for many years to convince people that we need a global athority to regulate the world. If you know where I could find that video please let me know.

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