Another aspect of Denver's Climate Action Plan that residents may not be aware of is the influence of big business.
FreedomWorks, a conservative group, argues that the plan "is compromised from the top." The co-chairman of Denver's Climate Action Plan task force is Benita Duran, an executive with the global firm CH2M Hill.
CH2M Hill is a Denver-based company that's in the businesses of carbon-offset consulting and renewable-energy services, among other things. The company was the one of the largest PAC donors to Colorado politicians in 2005-06 (both parties benefiting), and it saw $4.5 billion in revenues last year.
"The Climate Action Plan appears compromised by well-connected insiders and political donors who could directly benefit from these new regulations," said FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe. "Rather than helping the environment, the Climate Action Plan appears to be more about enriching a corporate donor at the expense of the average Denver resident."
Hickenlooper doesn't see it that way. "We're in a discussion phase right now, not policymaking stage," he says. "Bringing in the private sector is the best way to deal with this."
That may be true. But the eagerness of many voters to sign on to any plan that includes the word "green" requires extra vigilance.
For some, "environmentalism" means metric tons of cash. And, though I'm all for capitalism, I'm not sure we need CH2M Hill writing city policy.
Looks like the next corporate villain with be BIG GREEN! Wanna bet that will show up in the MSM headlines?