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Washington Governor Inslee Working on Climate Policy for an Environmental Group

My CEI colleague Chris Horner has discovered through state freedom of information laws that environmental pressure groups and major charitable foundations have been directing as well as funding Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s (D) leadership of the U. S. Climate Alliance. The Wall Street Journal ran editorials on January 12 and January 6 based on his discoveries. Here is the Journal’s summary:

An environmental nonprofit, the World Resources Institute, actually hired Washington’s state government as a contractor last July. Under this remarkable arrangement, the state agreed to perform a “scope of work” for the nonprofit that includes “activities and deliverables” to advance a green agenda. The special-interest tail is officially wagging the democratic dog, given that the contract provides the job framework for Mr. Inslee’s senior policy adviser for climate and sustainability, Reed Schuler.

Based on other emails, it appears that the ultimate source of funding for the World Resources Institute’s contract is the left-wing Hewlett Foundation. Hewlett has pledged $600 million for climate advocacy work, and some of that money is going to the U. S. Climate Alliance, whose members besides Inslee include Governors Jerry Brown of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York, along with 15 other governors. Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan (R) joined this past week. Here is a mission statement from the alliance’s website: “This bipartisan coalition of states is committed to the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

As the Journal commented:

Washingtonians deserve more details about which outside groups fund Mr. Inslee’s policy team. Substitute the Koch brothers for the World Resources Institute, and the outrage would be predictable. This setup creates real concerns about accountability and interest-peddling. Mr. Schuler knows who pays him, and it’s not Washington taxpayers.  

That is putting it mildly. And Chris Horner has shown there is much more to come.