Democratic Insiders’ Climate Ads Not ‘Bipartisan’ as Claimed

Published August 8, 2016

Three Democratic Party insiders, using a new environmental group they formed called Partnership for Responsible Growth (PRG), have created a media stir with a series of 12 advertisements espousing climate alarmism.

The ads, which ran on The Wall Street Journal’s editorial pages, claim there is a scientific consensus humans are causing dangerous climate change, and they criticize the Journal for running stories they say promote climate skepticism.

The ad kicking off the series directly attacked the Journal for allowing any degree of skepticism on its pages, saying, “It is time for the editorial board of the WSJ to become part of the solution on climate change.”

The next three climate ads misstate the science of climate change, incorrectly asserting rainfall and droughts are getting worse, that there has been no pause in rising temperatures, and suggesting carbon dioxide has historically caused climate change when the fact is warming has preceded rising carbon-dioxide levels in the past.

The remaining ads called for a number of policies the Obama administration supports, such as a $10-per-barrel fee on oil and a fee on carbon-dioxide emissions. PRG calls these proposals a “Free Market Solution to Climate Change,” but that’s misleading. There’s nothing “free” about government intervention in the marketplace and taxes imposed on the economy.

Though the ads cost more than $250,000, the campaign ended up being a bargain because of all the valuable and gleeful left-leaning media attention it received from outlets such as The New York Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune, and The Huffington Post.

The media’s focus on the PRG ad campaign has been centered on the ads’ climate arguments and the policies proposed, but, unfortunately, the media has spent no time at all investigating the people behind the ads.

Who Is Behind PRG?

PRG was founded in late 2014 by three well-connected Democrats. It had $188,000 to start with and a small staff. PRG claims to be bipartisan, but every member of the small board of directors, as well as PRG’s management, have either served in Democratic presidential administrations or in other important Democratic Party posts.

PRG’s leader is attorney and veteran Democrat official George Frampton held two important sub-cabinet offices in the Clinton administration and more than a dozen other federal assignments. Any pro-growth credentials Frampton might try to claim are undermined by the fact he served for seven years as president at the Wilderness Society, a radical environmentalist group that advocates locking up huge areas of the United States with no roads, no structures, no services, and no development of any kind.

PRG’s secretary is Walter Minnick, a lobbyist with The Majority Group in Washington, DC and a former Democratic U.S. representative from Idaho.

PRG’s chairman is William Eacho III, a wealthy entrepreneur who helped to raise $500,000 for President Barack Obama’s 2008 election. Also, Eacho and his wife gave $226,000 to other Democrats running for office. As a result of his devotion to the Democratic machine, Obama named Eacho U.S. Ambassador to Austria, where he served from 2009 to 2013.

In addition to serving as PRG’s chairman, Eacho’s family foundation gave a small grant to PRG at the time it was created.

To say PRG’s leaders are tied to the Democratic Party leadership is an understatement. I obtained a copy of a leaked event memo indicating these three PRG leaders are planning with members of the Democratic National Committee and Obama to bring climate issues to the fore if Hillary Clinton wins the presidential election in November.

The event memo details “a 31-person off-the-record discussion with President Obama on May 18, 2016 at the Jefferson Hotel to benefit the Democratic National Committee.” According to the memo, “Attendees are mostly longtime supporters of the DNC and the Obama-Biden campaigns from the Mid-Atlantic area. They are interested in a conversation focused on business and economic concerns.”

The discussion was co-sponsored by Eacho, his wife Donna—the manager of Eacho’s family foundation—and 29 other high-level Democrats.

The memo states, “Guests will not have cell phones on them and will be advised to not speak to the press.”

Anti-Carbon Resolution Contra PRG

Exactly a week after what was intended to be a secret meeting took place, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and 25 co-sponsors sent to the Senate Committee on Finance “A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the economy of the United States.”

By comparison to the coverage given to the PRG ads, the media virtually ignored the Senate resolution, which provided 15 separate criticisms of carbon pricing—points that countered every reason PRG gave in its Wall Street Journal ads to support the scheme.

Because energy prices affect every single America, everyone has a stake in the issue of whether the government imposes additional restrictions on fossil-fuel use, including carbon pricing schemes such as those proposed by PRG. Taxpayers and voters should pay careful attention to who is pushing carbon pricing and why. If the mainstream media won’t draw attention to these issues, I feel obligated to do so.

Ron Arnold ([email protected]) is a free-enterprise activist, author, and commentator.