Group advising White House wants to restore controversial policy
An organization that helped craft President Obama’s environmental policies has recommended the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, purportedly as a method of silencing critics of the theory of global warming.
The Presidential Climate Action Project, or PCAP, last year released an extensive list of recommendations for the White House in a 75-page paper titled “Building the Obama Administration’s Climate Legacy.”
Primary among the PCAP’s recommendations is that the Department of Energy should join the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency in what is known as the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.
The Partnership, which distributes over $1 billion in grants, says it aims to “help communities nationwide improve access to affordable housing, increase transportation options and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment.”
Another key recommendation in the report is the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, a former policy of the Federal Communications Commission that required the holders of broadcast licenses to give equal time to opposing viewpoints, which effectively made political talk radio unsustainable for any local station.
Reads the PCAP report: “National discourse today is tainted – and in some cases poisoned – by unbalanced ideological use of the public airwaves… To improve and better inform public discourse, it is time for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.”
Critics charge the Fairness Doctrine is as an attempt to regulate news and talk radio that violates First Amendment rights.
The University of Colorado-based PCAP draws up climate-policy recommendations for the White House and has been working with members of the Obama administration.
Following Obama’s victory in 2008, the PCAP began working with John Podesta, co-chairman of Obama’s transition team, to help the incoming president formulate an initial 100-day environmental agenda. Podesta is president and CEO of the highly influential Center for American Progress.
William S. Becker, the PCAP’s executive director, confirmed to WND in a November 2009 interview that his group’s initial proposals received a “very positive reception from the moment we delivered (the 100-day proposal) last November to John Podesta, co-chair of Obama’s transition team.”
“We continue to work with some colleagues inside the (Obama) administration, as well as continuing to push for bold action from the outside,” he said at the time.
Becker said the White House “adopted quite a few of our recommendations or variations of them.”
He cited a few examples of the influence of the PCAP and other environmental groups on Obama’s policies:
The PCAP recommended that the U.S. reach a bilateral climate deal with China prior to the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. The U.S. has since signed several agreements with China to share technology that reduces greenhouse-gas emissions.
The PCAP recommended an executive order that removed the gags from federal climate scientists. It became one of Obama’s first actions on environmental policy.
The PCAP recommended an overhaul of federal energy management to beef up efficiency requirements for federal agencies and to restore absolute carbon reduction targets that had been rescinded by the Bush administration. The Obama administration issued a new federal energy management order in October, including a requirement that agencies develop absolute targets for greenhouse-gas reductions.
The PCAP recommended, as did many others, that the Environmental Protection Agency embrace California’s vehicle emission standards and begin the process of regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. The EPA is doing both.
The PCAP recommended major budget increases for states and communities to engage in energy and climate actions and to weatherize the homes of low-income families. The recommendations were implemented in Obama’s stimulus package.
The PCAP describes itself as seeking to engage the “best thinking of America’s leaders in government, science and civil society to identify actions that will empower all elements of society to meet the challenges of energy security and climate change.”
The group actively promotes the theory of man-made global warming.
While the PCAP coordinates with the White House, WND previously exposed how Obama’s controversial former “green jobs” czar, Van Jones, is one of 20 members of the PCAP’s advisory board.
Jones’ name appeared on the group’s most recent recommendation paper.
Jones resigned in September 2009 after it was exposed he founded a communist revolutionary organization and signed a statement that accused the Bush administration of possible involvement in the 9/11 attacks.
Meanwhile, the PCAP is not alone in calling for the silencing of the critics of global warming theory.
As WND was first to report, just prior to his appointment as Obama’s so-called regulatory czar in 2009, Cass Sunstein wrote a lengthy academic paper suggesting the government should “infiltrate” social network websites, chat rooms and message boards.
Such “cognitive infiltration,” Sunstein argued, should be used to enforce a U.S. government ban on “conspiracy theorizing.”
Sunstein’s official title is administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
Among the beliefs Sunstein classified in his paper as a “conspiracy theory” is that man-made global warming is a deliberate fraud.
Aaron Klein is WND's senior staff reporter and Jerusalem bureau chief. He also hosts "Aaron Klein Investigative Radio" on New York's WABC Radio. His latest book is the N.Y. Times best-selling, "The Manchurian President: Barack Obama's Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists."More ↓