By: Julian Carmona, Intern for the Global Warming and Energy Team
Yesterday the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming (EIGW) held their (previously postponed) hearing on fraudulent letters sent to Congressmen by supposed “grassroots” organizations opposing the Waxman-Markey House climate bill (H.R.2454 American Clean Energy and Security Act). The fraudulent letters were supposedly from grassroots organizations representing the elderly, veterans and ethnic minorities, some of which included the NAACP and the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The letters were exposed as fraudulent by the Charlottesville Daily Progress out of Charlottesville, VA. The source of the letters was Bonner and Associates, a grassroots firm that was hired by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE).
The hearing was called by Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA), who is the chair of the House committee. The original hearing was scheduled for October 15th, but ranking member Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) asked for postponement in order to review the witnesses’ testimonies, as they had not submitted them in time.
The hearing on Thursday included a recounting of the events leading up the discovery of the fraudulent letters, and a verbal excoriation by Markey and Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) of witnesses from Bonner and ACCCE. The witnesses on the panel included Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA), Jack Bonner of Bonner and Associates, Steve Miller of ACCCE, Lisa Maatz of AAUW and Hillary Shelton of the NAACP. While Rep. Sensenbrenner and Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) spoke during introductions, the panel was dominated by Markey and Inslee, who were the only representatives present when it came down to questioning the witnesses.