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James Hoggan & Associates Inc.: US Oil and Coal Lobby are Killing Copenhagen Climate Deal

BARCELONA, SPAIN -- (Marketwire) -- 11/05/09 -- The US oil and coal lobby has effectively killed any chance of a fair, ambitious or binding deal at the Copenhagen climate change summit in December, author, PR consultant and climate policy watchdog Jim Hoggan said Thursday.

"Reports coming out of the current talks in Barcelona are incredibly depressing," said Hoggan, author of the new book Climate Cover-up. "One party after another keeps standing up explaining why it's out of the question that the world will achieve a serious climate change agreement this year. Everyone has a different rationale for this failure, but it's increasingly clear that responsibility rests at the feet of an old-energy lobby that is determined to stall any regulations that reduce the worldwide use of increasingly dangerous fossil fuels."

"This effort has been apparent for a long time if you knew where to look," said Hoggan, whose book-length expose was based on four years of research through the climate change research website, DeSmogBlog.com. "And it's been confirmed again recently with the release of the Center for Public Integrity's new report, The Global Climate Change Lobby."

That report documents how climate change lobbyists are overwhelming the governing process. For example, it shows that the number of lobbyists on Capitol Hill has risen to 2,810, an increase of more than 400 per cent in six years.

The effect of this lobby is coming into a worryingly clear focus in Copenhagen, Hoggan said. "Oil and coal lobbyist have flexed their muscle in the U.S, stalling the Senate climate bill and dashing the chances of a binding agreement in Copenhagen. At a time when the world desperately needs to take action, fossil fuel advocates have convinced us once again to stand still - or go backwards."

As revealed in Climate Cover-up, and confirmed in new research since the book was published, industry tactics have been underhanded but effective.

- The American Petroleum Institute organized fake grassroots events called "Energy Citizen" rallies in major cities in attempt to frame a US climate change bill as one that, "could increase the costs of gasoline to around $4 and lead to significant job losses - a job killer."

- The coal industry main lobby wing, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) hired a PR firm that letter forged letters to Congress, on the letterhead of legitimate organizations, opposing the Waxman-Markey clean energy bill. ACCCE, along with the PR firm they sub-contracted are the focus of an investigation by the Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming.

Industry leaders have started to condemn these tactics. For example, numerous companies have resigned their roles or membership in the US Chamber of Commerce in protest of its questionable opposition to clean energy legislation. But the negative effect - like climate change itself - has gone global.

"The activities by the oil and coal lobby reach far beyond the borders of the United States," Hoggan said. "The U.S. was expected to deliver a climate change bill before the Copenhagen climate summit. It was a lynchpin to a successful outcome. That outcome is now decided; the news is bad - and we know who to blame."

ABOUT "CLIMATE COVER-UP"

Climate Cover-Up is a brisk, readable book that is sure to leave you seething at the record of public manipulation, of staggering deceit. As the world prepares for the Copenhagen climate summit in December, it is critical to understand when people are talking about science and when they are talking about greed, selfishness and inter-generational betrayal. Climate Cover-Up tells the tale.

About the Authors:

James Hoggan, co-founder of DeSmogBlog.com, is president of James Hoggan & Associates, an award-winning public relations firm in Canada. Hoggan is also chair of the David Suzuki Foundation and a trustee of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education.

Richard Littlemore is a strategist and senior writer at James Hoggan & Associates and the editor of DeSmogBlog.com. He has served in the Canadian government's Kyoto implementation process and as an elected representative to the metropolitan government of Vancouver, B.C.

For news agencies with journalists at the Barcelona climate talks we have a representative available for live interviews.

Contacts:
Media Contact:
Lorraine Wilson
604-649-3516
[email protected]

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