Gregory Green’s Conflicts of Interest Get Worse

By Jim Scarantino on February 26, 2010
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The NM Environmental Improvement Board chair has not recused himself from hearing a petition to cap CO2 emissions by some of the same organizations that pay his lobbyist fees.  A closer look at those connections shows that his conflicts of interest are worse than we first reported.

Gregory Green is a lobbyist who works on contract for the Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy, an association of 14 organizations.  We first reported that two of the organizations in the coalition he represents were parties to the petition filed by New Energy Economy to cap emissions of carbon dioxide and other so’called “greenhouse gases” at 25% of 1990 levels.  The two organizations appearing before Green as chair of the EIB whom he also represents as a lobbyist for the Coalition are New Mexico Physicians for Social Responsibility (NMSRP) and the Center for Advancing Sustainable Architecture.

John Fogarty and Lucy Boulanger, two directors of NMSRP, an organization that contributes to Green’s fees, are also, respectively the executive director and chief financial officer of New Energy Economy.  Both organizations work in similar areas of environmental advocacy.  Both organizations support the same drastic emissions cap.

John Fogarty

John Fogarty

Thus, Green is in the position of representing and receiving compensation from the same individuals and organizations who are appearing before him as chair of the EIB.

But there’s more….

Four, not two CCAE organizations are parties to the EIB rule-making case pending before Green.  The New Mexico Council of Churches and Western Resource Associates have entered their appearances in the EIB case and, under the EIB’s rules, are thus now parties to that proceeding.  These two organziations, like NMSRP and the Center for Advancing Sustainable Architecture are part of the coalition, the CCAE, which pays Green to be their lobbyist on matters pertaining to environmental and energy regulations and laws.

But there’s even more….

New Energy Economy helps fund Green’s employer.  In 2007, according to New Energy Economy’s Form 990 IRS filing, it paid $80,000 to CCAE for “program services.”  In 2006, it gave CCAE $30,000, again for “program services.”  The 2009 Form 990 is not yet available for public inspection through Guidestar.org.

And one more thing…..

New Energy Economy is part of a national coalition called 1Sky seeking to impose the same emission caps it is asking the EIB to impose across New Mexico.  In 2009, New Energy Economy contributed $99,571 to the 1Sky alliance.  Also part of that alliance is the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).  NRDC is yet another member of the coalition, the CCAE, that has hired Green as its lobbyist on environmental and energy issues.  Another ally of 1Sky is Physicians for Social Responsibility.  John Fogarty, who is on the Board of New Mexico Physicians for Social Responsibility, is also on the national board of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Also part of the 1Sky alliance is Interfaith Power & Light.  Joan Brown, an employee of New Energy Economy, has the job of directing “efforts with the faith community.”  Brown is vice-president of New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light, and chairs its education committee.  New Mexico Interfaith Power & Light is part of the national network of faith groups operating under the umbrella “Interfaith Power and Light.”

Hold on.  More and more……

Another organization that has hired Green through CCAE to be its lobbyist is EnvironmentNew Mexico.  The executive director of lead petitioner New Energy Economy, John Fogarty, also just happens to be a director of Environment New Mexico.  So, not only is Green hearing a petition brought before him by an organization that pays him to represent it in similar types of environmental and energy controversies, that organization has as a director the executive director of the organization taking the lead on that petition.

Green is not alone with these serious conflicts of interest.  Fellow EIB members Gay Dillingham and Jim Gollin operate under similar comprises of their ability to act impartially and fairly.  You can read those reports here and here.

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4 Comments For This Post So Far

  1. Richard
    4:48 pm on February 26th, 2010

    So this would mean that no one from environmental and no one with connections to oil and gas would be allowed to serve on EIB? Will you do reports on those with oil and gas conflicts on the EIB?

    Or do those same oil and gas companies contribute to the Rio Grande Foundation so you are afraid to take them on?

  2. Jim Scarantino
    5:22 pm on February 26th, 2010

    The point is not that someone has “environmental” connections. It is that in this case, there are financial connections that raise a reasonable question as to impartiality and fairness, as well as prejudgment of the issues the EIB must consider. I think that if the lobbyist for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association were chairing this panel, the same story could be written about them. There is, though, contrary to your suggestion, no one on the EIB from the New Mexico oil and gas industry who will be impacted by the proposed regulation.

  3. wayoutwest
    1:41 pm on February 28th, 2010

    I think it is a stretch to say that Mr Green has a conflict of interest on this subject. He may be a lobbyist for the cause but he has no financial stake in the outcome and that is the definition of conflict of interest.

    There are plenty of voices for the carbon industries and putting their people on the board would be like putting a fox in the hen-house.

    The future growth industries in NM will be renewable sources of energy and the co2 cap will help the transition to a cleaner renewable energy future. Carbon based energy will be with us for the foreseeable future but the faster we begin the transition the better for our economy and environment.

Trackbacks

  1. Rio Grande Foundation Demands Majority of Environmental Improvement Board Recuse Itself

    [...] and Gay Dillingham.  Those four reports are here (Green), here (Gollin), here (Dillingham), and here [...]

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