Union of Concerned Scientists Archives - Shopfloor

Questions for AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka at the Press Club

By | Energy, Labor Unions | One Comment

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka speaks at a National Press Club luncheon on Friday, an appearance billed thusly:

Trumka will speak out on recent efforts to curb collective bargaining rights in several states, including Wisconsin and Ohio. He also will discuss the political outlook for the 2012 elections, and the impact of austerity budgets on local, state and federal workers.

All good topics. Here are a few others that the reporters could raise during the Q&A period that traditionally follows Press Club remarks.

  • In a January 2010 National Press Club appearance you said: “I think you will see the Employee Free Choice Act pass in the first quarter of 2010.” And …”The president fully supports the Employee Free Choice Act, the Vice President fully supports the Employee Free Choice Act, a vast majority of the members of the House support the Employee Free Choice Act, a vast majority of the people of the Senate support the Employee Free Choice Act. And I think we are going to have the Employee Free Choice Act despite the determined efforts of the Republican Party.” So were you shining us on, deceiving your membership for tactical reasons, or are you just a lousy prognosticator? Did the failure of card check reflect organized labor’s lack of political influence? Your own lack of influence?

  • AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka addresses anti-coal crowd at April rally. (Photo: Energy Action Coalition)

  • You began your career as a coal miner and served as President of the United Mine Workers before being elected to head the AFL-CIO. Yet at an April “Power Shift” rally in front of the White House, you joined environmental activists in demanding “clean energy” policies in which coal has no role. Demonstrators held signs declaring “Coal is Over” and “No More Coal!” (More photos here and here.) How can you, as a union president, make common cause with activists who want to shut down the coal industry?

  • AFL-CIO affiliated unions are members of the Blue-Green Alliance, which includes such organizations as the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Many people regard these groups as hostile to the industrial base of this nation’s economy. How do you reconcile union support for this alliance? According to a Department of Commerce study, green products and services account for at most 2 percent of private sector activity. How you can justify spending member dues on groups who have such a narrow focus and whose policies would eliminate unionized jobs in the energy and manufacturing sectors?

  • Do you believe nuclear power has a role in America’s future energy production? Because AFL-CIO member unions are sending member dues to a group that includes the Union of Concerned Scientists, one of the major opponents of nuclear energy.

  • Should a company that currently has unionized operations in a state ever be allowed to locate new operations in a right-to-work state?

Wonder if Union of Concerned Scientists Would Retract Any of This

By | Energy, Global Warming, Regulations, Technology | One Comment

That’s Kevin Knoblauch, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, writing in the Summer issue of “Catalyst.”

Events have overtaken his column of self-congratulation. The public recently learned that the EPA suppressed an internal study on climate science because the author challenged the scientific basis used to justify the Obama Administration’s anti-global warming agenda.

And holding up John Holdren as a leader in restoring scientific integrity? Well, Holdren’s reputation has taken a serious hit in recent days, too. From REASON, “The disturbing intellectual record of Obama’s science czar.

Dr. John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy—better known as the “science czar”—has been a longtime prophet of environmental catastrophes. Never discouraged but never right. And thanks to resourceful bloggers, you can read excerpts from a hard-to-find book co-authored by Holdren in the late 1970s, called Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment, online. In it, you will find the czar wading into some unpleasant talk about mass sterilizations and abortions.

Unless UCS considers eugenics, population control and anti-growth policies to be hallmarks of scientific integrity.

To us, they seem more like policy choices (bad choices) that should be argued on their merits as policy, not forced into a single “science-endorsed” position that one dare not question. Scientific integrity? How about political honesty?

For Knoblauch’s entire message, click here.

(Hat tip: Glenn Reynolds. And more from Michelle Malkin here. And David Freddoso here.)

Membership Renewal Letter from the Union of Concerned Scientists

By | Global Warming | No Comments

It’s just interesting how low key this dues reminder is from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Most direct mail from environmentalist groups we get — and we get a lot — tends toward the POLAR BEARS ARE CRYING FOR THEIR DEAD CUBS ilk of propaganda. This letter is restrained in comparison (and that respect, quite dissimilar from the unrestrained jobs-killing UCS policy agenda).

Why the modest rhetoric? Our guess:

You don’t need a strong sales pitch targeting people who have already associated themselves with your efforts, i.e., members and former members.

The Obama Administration is new and generally seen as sympatico, and there’s no point at railing against the Bush Administration any longer. Besides, there will be enemies to raise money from by demonizing soon enough. Whenever the cap-and-trade debate in Congress gets under way.

House Hearing on Auto Industry Under Way

By | Energy, Labor Unions | No Comments

Just started.

The Union of Concerned Scientists has a witness. If only the environmental activists could design the car, THAT would solve our domestic auto industry’s problems.

Financial Services Committee to Hold Hearing on Auto Industry Stabilization Plans

            Washington, DC – House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) today announced that the committee will hold a hearing entitled “Review of Industry Plans to Stabilize the Financial Condition of the American Automobile Industry” at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, December 5, 2008.


Witness List & Prepared Testimony:

Panel 1

  • Mr. G. Richard Wagoner, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, General Motors Corporation
  • Mr. Robert Nardelli, Chief Executive Officer, Chrysler, LLC.
  • Mr. Alan Mulally, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ford Motor Company
  • Mr. Ron Gettelfinger, President, United Auto Workers 

Panel 2

  • The Honorable Gene Dodaro, Acting Comptroller General, U.S. Government Accountability Office 
  • The Honorable Felix G. Rohatyn, FGR Associates, LLC
  • Professor Edward Altman, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University 
  • Mr. David Friedman, Research Director, Clean Vehicles Program,
    Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director, The Earth Institute; Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University

Nuclear Power, Part of an Energy Strategy — Except in New Jersey

By | Energy, Global Warming | No Comments

Among the many topics NAM President and CEO John Engler covered in his October 13 speech to the Detroit Economic Club was the need for the United States to adopt a national energy strategy, a comprehensive, use-all-resources approach.

Nuclear power included…

We need a resurgent nuclear power industry in America. Manufacturers use a third of the nation’s electricity, and the Chevy Volt is going to require what? Even more electricity. Nuclear power is safe and will create thousands of jobs. We need to get started. 

The text of the speech is here.

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, Governor Corzine has announced a statewide energy strategy, setting high, very high, quite high goals in meeting this industrial state’s need for electricity through alternative energy sources, conservation and efficiency. We haven’t read the plan yet, but note these comments from Corzine’s news conference, as reported by Reuters:

New Jersey might also use more nuclear power but only if the waste could be safely disposed of, Corzine said. “I’m not opposed to nuclear power,” he said. “I’m opposed to doing it unsafely.”

You can usually interpret that rhetoric as: “I’m not opposed to nuclear power. I’m just opposed to any new plants being built.”

The green activists at the occasionally scientific Union of Concerned Scientists certainly read it that way, praising the New Jersey plan in a news release because it “promotes offshore wind energy and solar energy installation over fossil fuel and nuclear power plants.”

In other words, because it promotes sources that are not suited to produce the kind of baseload electricity demanded by an advanced industrial society.


No, But Thanks for Asking!

By | Energy, Global Warming | No Comments

After achieving the goal of getting on 500+ mailing lists, it’s time to let the membership in the Union of Concerned Scientists expire.  They supply way too much unbiased science, warning of the coming disasters.

From the renewal letter, final notice:


Page 2 has the gist. And to be fair, it’s a pretty soft sell by the usual standards of environmentalist membership entreaties. Not a single crying polar bear cub anywhere.

With your renewed support, we can help the next administration repair the
considerable damage done and restore the United States to its rightful place as the
world’s leader on reining in nuclear proliferation, developing sustainable energy
and, most urgently, reducing emissions of heat-trapping gases to stave off the
worst of global warming.

Eight years of obstruction and inaction have only drawn down the clock on
the amount of time we have to blunt the most serious effects of global warming.
Yet despite the growing urgency, we must also contend with a global economy
skidding toward recession.

During this tumultuous period, UCS’s expertise and unbiased science will
be called upon more than ever. As our country’s new leadership weighs its options,
our careful analysis and thoroughly researched solutions will point the way to a
better future. 

Beware the first 100 days of any new administration. One hundred days for action, an eternity for regrets.
Read More

At Least They Didn’t Mention His Grandfather

By | Global Warming, Media Relations | No Comments

Environmental groups and supporters of a larger, more intrusive regulatory state have made a vice presidential staffer, Chase Hutto, their bete noire, beating him up for questioning the wisdom and efficiency of expanded government authority over the economy. Hutto is apparently being talked about as an assistant secretary for policy and international affairs at the Department of Energy, alarming the usual suspects.

Seen in the abstract, it’s sort of funny that groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists are devoting so much effort to attacking a fellow who would fill a modest agency post in the waning days of a lameduck Administration. The groups went to Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post and managed to elicit a 1,260-word story (that’s really long) on A2 yesterday, “Anti-Regulation Aide to Cheney Is Up for Energy Post.” The attack is spelled out in the lead, Hutto’s appointment being “a promotion that would put one of the administration’s most ardent opponents of environmental regulation in charge of forming department policies on climate change.”

But it’s certainly not to funny to Mr. Hutto to be the target of anonymous attacks because of his political philosophy, and the story represents the kind of clear message sending to those who oppose the extremism of the environmental activists.

Anonymous attacks? Yes, despite the Post’s supposed diligence and ethical standards, its reporters are still allowed to repeat anonymous statements impugning a person’s reputation.

“He’s got an incredible amount of authority and a portfolio seemingly without end,” said a source familiar with policy discussions involving Hutto. “He’s got his fingers in everything.”

Some attribution. Is that an Administration source? Someone from the environmentalist groups who dislikes his policies? “He’s got his fingers in everything.” Why do Washington Post editors allow this kind of anonymous sourcing on what is, after all, a story about policy?

The subjective standard of sourcing appeared in Eilperin’s previous story that mentioned Hutto, the July 11 piece, “EPA Won’t Act on Emissions This Year,” which also included this very informative bit of news that Hutto’s “grandfather patented at least seven piston inventions for the Ford Motor Company.”

The article ends with the restatement of the implicit thesis from an activist who, we would guess, started this line of criticism.

Francesca Grifo — who directs the Scientific Integrity Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, an advocacy group — said that if Hutto takes the helm of the Energy Department’s climate policy office, the impact could last well beyond Bush’s term in office.

“It’s not surprising that the Bush administration is considering a candidate who has a track record of putting politics ahead of science. Over and over again, appointments like this one have damaged the government’s ability to protect the environment and public health,” Grifo said, adding that in the coming months, Hutto could make policy decisions that the next administration would find difficult to reverse quickly.

Putting politics ahead of science? Cripes, that could be the Union of Concerned Scientists’ motto. But don’t imagine you’ll see a lengthy story in the Post about that group’s modus operandi. They’re too good of a source, someone familiar with their operations told us.

They Need the Hot Air to Puff Up Their Case

By | General | No Comments

From a fundraising e-mail, Union of Concerned Scientists:

Last week, despite overwhelming public support, senate obstructionists were able to block meaningful debate on a bill that would have established a strong framework for reducing U.S. global warming pollution.

So the debate was meaningless, eh?

Have to disagree. The recent debate over the Lieberman-Warner climate change legislation actually provided a bracing dose of reality, forcing the cap-and-trade advocates to abandon the green utopianism and instead address economic specifics…and consequences. The study that the NAM and the American Council for Capital Formation commissioned — and the many other studies done by disinterested parties, as well — brought home the truth that the cap-and-trade, command-and-control regime would have destroyed millions of jobs, sent the price of energy through the roof, and sacrificed U.S. competitiveness to targets and dreams.

A very meaningful debate, indeed.

P.S. Here’s the full e-mail pitch.