In today’s political world, those who advocate for extreme environmental policies are given the benefit of the doubt—by the media and the public. They are seen as champions of the environment, working to save us all from ourselves as they fight pollution and rising ocean levels. There is an unmistakable public belief that these “green heroes” could do no wrong.
Yet, scandal after scandal—from Solyndra to Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber—has demonstrated this belief nothing more than a myth. Far from acting out of a righteous desire to save the world, these green heroes have proven themselves to be motivated by self-interest time and time again.
The Wall Street Journal reports that four-termer Kitzhaber originally came into office on the notion that he was “totally committed to the environment.” He bonded with his fiancé, Cylvia Hayes, over a “shared passion for a low-carbon energy future.” However, green energy policy was not the only green obsession that bonded the couple.
Hayes has a long history of pursuing financial interest through shady means. The Wall Street Journal points out that she “snagged $5,000 for engaging in a sham green-card marriage” and “schemed up a plan to buy a Washington state farm and grow illegal marijuana.” Kitzhaber appeared to have been only too willing to continue the sketchy behavior. Hayes received a state contract from Kitzhaber “despite being a high bidder.” She also “got paid thousands of dollars to draft a “Green Jobs Growth Plan” that allegedly contained passages plagiarized from an existing state plan.”
Today, Kitzhaber will officially resign as governor of Oregon amid scandal and disgrace. In his wake, he leaves the opportunity for a public realization to the reality of how extreme environmentalists play politics. The opportunity for an awakening to the deep corruption that runs through environmental organizations and the Democrat politicians who support them.
The Wall Street Journal writes that, in our republican system of government, we don’t assume virtue. Instead, “We insist on checks and balances. We require competitive bidding and similarly transparent procedures to reduce discretion and the chances of corruption. We subject regulations to cost-benefit analysis to make sure the public is really being served.”
Self-righteous environmentalists insist that they are above these practices because they are pursuing selfless goals. So, if Hayes lobbied for private environmental clients while crafting state policies it doesn’t matter because her goal was pure—or so says Kitzhaber. The idea that environmentalists are above reproach because of their “selfless” ideology is not unique to Oregon politics. The Wall Street Journal,
Only in the decades after the 1970s and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency has the cause become progressively unlinked from demonstrable human benefits here and now, in favor of a more eschatological outlook. Mr. Obama advances his environmental claims in the cadences of a preacher invoking the miracles of Moses, describing his own advent in biblical terms as the “moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
And look at the swelling corps of handout-seeking billionaires and corporations who have perfected “green” self-interest. Not just wind and solar and ethanol impresarios, but even one of the world’s biggest oil companies, BP , pronounced itself “beyond petroleum” in the 1990s while expanding its petroleum footprint by acquiring Amoco and Atlantic Richfield.
Environmentalists and their Democrat supporters have used self-righteous claims to get away with hypocritical, self-serving practices for far too long. Kitzhaber’s actions—which mirror those of Jay Inslee—are inappropriate and unethical, they cannot be explained away or justified with the pronouncement that it was all done out of selfless intentions. Extreme environmental organization cannot accept money from Vladimir Putin to lobby against fracking, and then use the excuse that their goals are pure. Democrats cannot accept dark money from super PACs and justify their actions by explaining that, unlike Republicans, their goal is somehow righteous. It’s not righteousness, purity of cause or selflessness. It’s hypocrisy, corruption and selfishness wrapped in a sickening veil of self-righteousness.
The Wall Street Journal writes, “Environmentalism, alas, is a church with its reformation nowhere in sight.” That may be true. But, the revelation of widespread corruption in environmentalism may be what is needed to activate a great awakening in public and media perception.