One of the big members of the newly formed Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD) is the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Fred Krupp, President of EDF, is a CSSD Board Director. In 2011, he was also named to President Obama’s fracking panel.
EDF appears to have bought into many of the same natural gas industry talking points which we’ve all seen and heard in the slick advertising. EDF even has a slick graphic of their own.
EDF Lobbying and Funding
The lobbying firm used by EDF is K&L Gates, LLP. A number of the same K&L Gates employees also lobby for Energy corporations such as NextEnergy, Sapphire Energy and Peabody Energy. A number of these same lobbyists are former Congressional staffers or former members of Congress.
Hellooooo Revolving Door!
EDF Lobbying paid to K&L Gates:
- 2012: $320,000
- 2011: $410,000
- 2010: $1,850,000
- 2009: $2,171,000
- 2008: $1,255,000
There have been many requests for EDF to release its funding sources. Another EDF ploy is to co-opt the funding sources of some of the shale gas opposition groups. University of Texas, Duke, Boston U are participating on the EDF study with Bloomberg funding it with $6 million…as EDF does not accept money from industry. “
EDF has yet to be transparent with its funding sources.
According to its own guidelines, EDF does NOT accept direct funding from corporations that are engaged “in any significant activities that are in direct conflict with EDF’s environmental protection objectives or activities.”
However, this is extremely misleading, since EDF does aggressively seek funding from employees, board members and investors in corporations including (and probably especially) its formal corporate partners. EDF also considers on a case by case basis whether to accept major donations from foundations set up by corporations.
Thus, corporate partnerships are extremely lucrative for EDF since it aggressively fundraises among the individuals on the Boards of Directors, in management, and who are investors in its partners. Meanwhile, the corporate partners such as Carlyle Group and Wal-Mart can greenwash themselves by pointing to a forma partnership with one of the world’s most established Big Green environmental groups.
About the Carlyle Group and Gas
Carlyle Group, the Washington-based private-equity firm that went public this year, is taking over operations of a Sunoco Inc. (SUN) refinery on a bet that revived U.S. oil and natural-gas output can restore to profit the oldest continually operating refinery on the U.S. East Coast.
Carlyle will invest an undisclosed amount in Sunoco’s 330,000-barrel-a-day Philadelphia refinery as part of a joint venture, the companies said today in a statement. Sunoco will retain a minority stake.
Carlyle plans to process oil delivered by rail from North Dakota’s Bakken formation where production has risen fourfold in the last three years. It will also use gas from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, where output doubled last year, to run the refinery.
Take some time and do some googling on the Carlyle Group. (Hint: Include Bush and Cheney in the search parameters.)
Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD)
One of CSSD’s talking points is it will work a lot like Underwriters Laboratories (UL), which puts its UL seal of approval on electrical appliances that meet its standards. It sounds good until you understand a number of products are required by federal and/or state agencies to undergo UL certification before these products can be sold to the public.
Side Note: UL is having its own problems with credibility. “The level of safety that seal signifies is sometimes questionable, Government reports and some product safety experts say.”
George Jugovic, president of the environmental group PennFuture, one of the participants, said the industry’s involvement makes this different from past debates over fracking.
“Buy-in from them is huge. That provides leadership from within,” Jugovic said. “It’s very different from someone from the outside saying, ‘You can do better.'”
It is interesting to note, PennFuture is NOT on CSSD Board on Directors, WHY NOT? However, PennFuture IS listed as a strategic partner.
We can analyze, debate and comb over each of the “standards” created by CSSD. However, the fact of the matter is CSSD has NO POWER, NO AUTHORITY to actually enforce their “standards”. The Marcellus Shale Coalition, which has declined to participate with CSSD, has their own set of “standards” and are likewise powerless to enforce them.
3 Points to Remember:
- CSSD is not a regulatory organization or agency
- Participation in CSSD is voluntary – not required by any government entity. No federal or state agency or department or regulatory entity is requiring any Gas or Oil corporation to have a CSSD ‘certification’ in order to drill anywhere.
- CSSD can not fine, suspended or otherwise hold any gas corporation responsible or accountable
As CSSD revs up its spin machine, they will most likely be throwing around the phrase “Responsible Drilling”. Responsible Drilling is the sound bite catch word you will be hearing from many Natural Gas Corporations, their front groups, PR Campaigns, and politicians in the coming 2014 mid-term campaign season.
Yes, it sounds good….at first. However, you can’t have “RESPONSIBLE” anything if no one takes RESPONSIBLITY and/or is held RESPONSIBLE and accountable.
- Fracking Center and Fluffy Kittens
- Institute of Déjà vu All Over Again
- Marcellus Shale Coalition: In the Lobby
©2013 by Dory Hippauf