Speaking in Copenhagen on Wednesday, EPA Chief Lisa Jackson stressed that President Barack Obama is not George W. Bush. "In less than 11 months since taking office," she said, "we have done more to promote clean energy and prevent climate change than happened in the last eight years."
Even so, Bushworld still exerts considerable influence on US climate policy. A new report, Smoke Screen, released by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington last week, reveals that 20 former Bush environmental appointees have taken jobs in government relations and lobbying. They're likely to exert an outsized influence with Republicans in the polarized Senate, which must reject or ratify any treaty that emerges from Copenhagen. With that in mind, here's a pocket guide to Washington's bramble of former Bushies.
James L. Connaughton
Under Bush: Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and Bush's chief environmental advisor
Best known for: Advocating a "new environmentalism" that replaces rules with voluntary pollution reduction goals
Revolving door: Now oversees government relations for Constellation Energy, a Fortune 500 energy company that operates coal and nuclear plants
Under Bush: Chief of staff for CEQ from 2001 to 2005
Best known for: Editing scientific reports on climate change to omit suggested links between human activity and global warming
Revolving door: A job at ExxonMobil (it's unknown in what capacity or for how long)
Under Bush: Chief of staff for CEQ from 2005 to 2006
Best known for: Keeping a lower profile than his predecessor
Revolving door: Now a registered lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute
Under Bush: Chief of staff for CEQ from 2006 to 2009
Best known for: His prior job as an aide to Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Congress' leading global warming skeptic
Revolving door: Now vice president of energy policy for FirstEnergy, an Ohio-based utility company that generates most of its electricity from coal
Under Bush: Director of communications for CEQ from 2003 to 2005
Best known for: His subsequent job as spokesman for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee under Inhofe.
Revolving door: Now chief flak for the National Petrochemical and Refinery Association
Under Bush: Associate director for toxics and environmental protection for the CEQ
Best known for: Her prior job as a lobbyist for Koch Industries, a leading funder of climate change deniers
Revolving door: Now a lobbyist for Shell Oil