Why Al Gore’s support should unplug Rep. Betsy Markey

By | October 3rd, 2010

We were floored to see a report that U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey, D-Colo., would have former Vice President Al Gore doing a fundraiser for her on Oct. 16, which can only remind undecided voters in her 4th Congressional District of her 2009 vote for cap-and-tax legislation.

Passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, led by House Democrats under the guidance of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, exposed vulnerable freshman representatives like Markey as being far left on “global warming” and energy policy, pressured by enviro groups such as Gore’s Repower America.

“We need you to contact your representatives in Congress,” Gore said in the video above, the week of the vote. “Overwhelm their phone lines with your message.”

What’s overwhelming is that cap-and-tax passed at all, given an analysis by the Heritage Foundation (reported by The Wall Street Journal) that it could “cost the economy $161 billion in 2020, which is $1,870 for a family of four.”

The Senate version of the legislation has been bottled up and (hopefully) will stay that way. There’s a detailed explanation of that in the current New Yorker magazine, including a description of the Edison Electric Institute getting “almost everything” it wanted in potential Senate legislation. Edison, based in Washington, D.C., is “the association of shareholder-owned electric utilities,” according to its website.

We told you in June about Markey getting guidance from Pelosi’s former right-hand man, Brian Wolff, a high-powered lobbyist and senior vice president at Edison.

Wolff was listed as a co-host of a fundraising event on Friday at the institute for Markey, with donations sought of $2,500 per political-action-committee host, according to the invitation published by the Sunlight Foundation’s Party Time.

“This year, U.S. Representative Betsy Markey specifically requested millions of dollars of government spending to benefit the electric power industry, including money to fund a “Energy Conversion Laboratory” and a “Smart Grid Simulation Laboratory,” reported a blog called “That’s my Congress”, which cited the invitation. “Why on earth would Markey specifically ask for this money, when the residents of her congressional district have so many other needs?”

Separately, CompleteColorado.com raised sharp questions recently about the connections between Markey’s fundraising, her policy positions and a green energy company in her district.

If Markey is so keen on the green economy, perhaps on leaving office she can pursue the path of Gore, whom the Telegraph speculated last year “could become the world’s first carbon billionaire after investing heavily in green energy companies.”

As long as it’s not with the taxpayers’ money.

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