Zoi Leaves ‘Green’ Post at Department of Energy: Avoiding Her Conflicts of Interest?

Zoi Leaves ‘Green’ Post at Department of Energy: Avoiding Her Conflicts of Interest?

October 14, 2010
Originally published in Pajamas Media

Former Alliance for Climate Protection (ACP) CEO Cathy Zoi — ACP being the environmental advocacy group founded by Al Gore — has been kicked upstairs from her position at the Department of Energy. Formerly the assistant secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Zoi has now been given the No. 2 position in the Department: acting undersecretary for Energy.

Zoi now takes over authority for fossil fuel energy — something her career indicates she loathes, having worked hard to snuff it out.

This move is described by trade press as “surprising” and “unusual” for several reasons, including those that do not typically accompany a promotion. But it isn’t a surprising move for those who have been following her here at PJM. It is fair to speculate that Zoi would not get confirmed this year, let alone next year, to her current position (or any others) after certain revelations regarding her conflicts of interest.

Documents leaked to me show Ms. Zoi actually held on to approximately half a million dollars of stock in “Smart Meter” company Landis & Gyr, despite selling her other utility stock holdings prior to taking the EERE job. She broadly divested for the position, according to her disclosure provided me by an anonymous source, but did not sell the Landis & Gyr stock.

The Department of Energy is now actively stonewalling the release of Zoi’s records, subject to an appeal I filed last week. It seems that despite DoE claims that Zoi recused herself from her numerous conflicts — including policies currently rewarding her husband’s company — no record of such recusals appeared in the sparse documents I obtained from DoE’s designated ethics officer, under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.

I also have requested Zoi’s records discussing Gore, his former group the ACP and its affiliates, Landis & Gyr, Spain (documents I obtained earlier show her involvement in the attempted smear of Spanish researchers who debunked Obama’s “green economy” claims regarding Spain), and addressing FOIA. For nearly six months, DoE has refused to respond to my requests.

Perhaps this is yet another chapter of corruption by the environmental movement, adding to that detailed in Power Grab.