Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber will officially resign this week following revelations of unethical financial ties between extreme environmental groups and his energy advisor and fiancée, Cylvia Hayes. As Shift recently reported, the extreme environmental groups behind the scandal also operate in Jay Inslee’s administration. The similarities between the “green” agendas in Oregon and Washington are too far reaching to ignore.
California billionaire Tom Steyer’s money is the primary connection between disgraced Kitzhaber and Inslee. Steyer has pumped over $3 million into the Energy Foundation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization advocating “green” policies. The Energy Foundation confirmed it, in turn, footed some of the bills for the fellowship awarded to Hayes by the Clean Energy Development Center (CEDC). While accepting money from these outside extreme environmental organizations, Hayes acted in an official role as Kitzhaber’s “green advisor” and helped direct energy policy in his administration.
Advocated “green” alternatives to GDP, which Inslee admin adopted
Kitzhaber isn’t the only governor Hayes advised on green energy issues. According to Northwest News Network, Hayes attended four events with Washington state officials advocating for the use of a Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), “an alternative to gross domestic product that also takes into account a state’s social and environmental health.” One of those meetings occurred in Inslee’s office. Hayes had a contract to advocate for the GPI during that time, accepting money from outside green groups while using her connections as Oregon’s First Lady to set up meetings.
Wendy Korthuis-Smith, director of Inslee’s Results Washington program, denied knowledge that a contract existed. It is noteworthy that Inslee administration now uses both GPI and GDP as measurements of the state’s health.
Kitzhaber, Hayes and Inslee aligned goals
Perhaps the most significant connections between Kitzhaber and Inslee are the two governor’s extreme environmental goals. As part of the Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC) climate agreement, Kitzhaber and Inslee sought to align their green agendas by pursuing fuel mandates for Oregon and Washington. Both Kitzhaber and Inslee began pursuing fuel mandates this year as they promised they would do in 2013.
Governor Inslee’s office has admitted that Cylvia Hayes attended three PCC meetings in 2013 and 2014 where Washington state officials were present. Hayes attended the meetings in an official role and advised those in attendance on “ocean health.” During that time, Hayes was contracted with an organization called Resource Media to “promote ocean and marine health as part of the Pacific Coast Collaborative.” Inslee’s office, once again, denied any knowledge of Hayes’ contract.
Inslee cannot so easily deny that the same outside environmental groups that essentially paid Kitzhaber (via his fiancé) to implement an extreme green agenda were also heavily involved in directing policies coming out of his own administration. As Shift reported, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund—one of the other groups linked to the Oregon scandal—and the Energy Foundation—the group at the center of the scandal—were essential to developing Inslee’s fuel mandate plans and to ensuring the success of the Pacific Coast Climate Collaborative, which was underwritten by the Steyer-funded Energy Foundation.
Hayes was Oregon’s PCC summit lead
More, emails obtained by Shift confirm that Hayes was involved in working with Washington State on the PCC agreement. In fact, Hayes was listed in emails at the lead person for Oregon arranging the climate agreement signed, by Inslee and others, in San Francisco during Fall 2013.
In June 2014, Shift rolled out the results of a public records investigation that revealed Inslee’s fuel mandate advisor Jay Manning received private funding to assist the Inslee administration and influence its environmental policies. We further revealed emails which proved outside environmental groups, including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, were funding consultants to develop Inslee’s extreme green policies.
Problems in Oregon the same in Washington
The financial influence of extreme environmental groups on “green” advisors acting in an official capacity is not unique to the Kitzhaber administration—it’s apparent in Inslee’s as well. The same level of investigation must be done in Washington as was done in Oregon to discover just how heavily dark money from outside environmental groups influences the policies of our green governor.