Oil and Gas Lobbyist Commits Termination Offense

homer-doh-squaregreenA late Friday story that's sure to be the talk of the political class this weekend–forwarded to us earlier this afternoon, here's a memo that was accidentally sent to every member of the Colorado General Assembly yesterday. From the lobbyist outfit Colorado Legislative Services, LLC, the attachment to the email is supposed to be a new ColoradoBiz Magazine article on compressed natural gas.

Instead, they sent an internal memo prepared for Chesapeake Energy on their legislative agenda in Colorado for the 2013 session. Safe to say, this was not the intended attachment. Excerpts:

The Colorado political landscape is controlled by Democrats. As a moderate Democrat, Governor John Hickenlooper has enjoyed the luxury of having a divided House and Senate to kill the extreme agenda from either side. This year he will have his hands full governing with a Democrat Majority in both the House and Senate. His relationship to the oil & gas industry is strong and he has been a national leader speaking out against the anti-fracturing forces that have invaded Colorado. [Pols emphasis] His administration has sued one Local Government over the issue and will likely join an industry lawsuit over a referendum that banned hydraulic fracturing in that same community…

The Senate numbers remain unchanged. The Democrats are still firmly in charge with a 20 – 15 margin. The Senate President is a moderate but the New Majority Leader is an anti-oil and gas populist. She has aspirations of being Attorney General and possibly Governor and is using the anti-fracturing sentiment to get her wider exposure to the media. [Pols emphasis] The good news is that there are at least three democrats in the Senate that do not want to have a fight over hydraulic fracturing and we have a good chance to sway them on that and other oil and gas issues. On the Republican side, the Minority Leader is a good friend of industry. We have strong supporters in the caucus and they will be able to help spread a pro-industry message. In contrast, the House of Representatives has flipped back to being strongly Democratic with a 37-28 majority. There are 20 new legislators in the House. Many are trying to hold their commitments to the environmentalists to a minimum and wish to do more for the industry. The new Democratic Speaker is a moderate on oil and gas issues and wants to align his position with the Governor wherever possible. The Majority Leader hales from Boulder County, a hot bed of anti-oil and gas sentiment. She is trying to be a moderating influence but has strong proclivities to put local government in control of all oil and gas siting decisions. The new Minority Leader is also a good friend to industry and we also have strong supporters throughout the caucus…

Check out the whole memo here.

Needless to say, the accidental disclosure of the wealth of…if you will, very candid opinion in this memo could make it hard for Chesapeake Energy to successfully carry out its legislative agenda. Also, such an explicit acknowledgement of Gov. John Hickenlooper's "strong relationship" with the oil and gas industry, though hardly a secret, won't help him represent himself as a fair player on the issue. According to Tim Hoover of the Denver paper, who wrote a blog post about this story a short while ago, Jim Cole of Colorado Legislative Services, LLC met today with Senate Majority Leader Morgan Carroll–the so-called "anti-oil and gas populist" who is "using the anti-fracturing sentiment to get her wider exposure to the media"–and apologized profusely. Cole says that Majority Leader Carroll "handled herself in very professional and forthright manner," which is more than can be said for himself.

Folks, obviously, confidential memos are occasionally drawn up by lobbyists that are less than friendly toward some of the legislators they are charged with persuading. But the breach of decorum involved in sending such a memo to every member of the legislature, including the very legislator the memo disparages, falls somewhere between mind-boggling and the intentional destruction of said lobbying firm by a disgruntled employee. It is truly one of the most asinine and unforgivable things a lobbyist, somebody you're paying to make you look good, could possibly do.

See title, if any of their clients know what's good for them.

53 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. rwnemanich says:

    What is more fascinating is how tenuous the power the fossil fuel industry actually is depending on friendly state dems

  2. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    The demonization of our moderate Democrat Governor by the radical left continues.

    • ParkHill says:

      Demanding that government regulations should protect clean air and water is demonizing our governor?

      Expecting our government to diversify our energy economy by a long-term encouragement of alternative energy is a radical leftist idea?

      Why are Republicans in favor of pollution and so protective of an oil-dependent economy?

      • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

        This economy is energy dependent. As soon as liberals can deliver clean green energy at market prices, everyone will be a greenie. Until then, all you can do is coerce people, and interfere with the free market.

        • MADCO says:

          then make oil and gas clean.

          It’s hard? tough.
          O&G should pay their way – infrastrucutre, extraction, etc. And that includes environmental impacts.

          Don’t like it? go do O&G extraction in WYoming – where severance taxes are HIGHER. Or move it to Nigeria- where there are virtually no environmental standards enforced.

          The economy is energy dependent - brilliant. Can I quote you on that?

          And yet you claim to want a free market for energy…tbc but you’re nuts.

          Oh- hey, let’s emulate Alsaka and create our own permanent fund.

        • BlueCat says:

          The west has been, is and will continue to be a dry region constantly threatened by drought and water shortage in proportion to population. On this basis alone an energy source that requires the expenditure of huge quantities of water that can’t be recycled but are simply depleted for good is not one which makes any sense from a purely practical, not greenie or tree hugger or librul point of view. Pointing this out doesn’t constitute demonizing anyone.

          There is no alternative to water. There are alternatives to fossil fuels which can only be accessed by squandering water. If those alternatives cost more up front to develop, the cost is well worth it if pursuing the briefly and temporarily cheaper course wastes what this region’s population and economy can’t be sustained without.

          It’s a no brainer. Last I heard, the GOP was being urged to stop being the stupid party. Dems, no matter how moderate, shouldn’t be volunteering to join Rs in their short sighted stupidity.

          • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

            A powerful truth that should be lost on no one…

            • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

              “There is no alternative to water. There are alternatives to fossil fuels which can only be accessed by squandering water.”

              I was trying to qoute BC in the previous post, but I still can’t figure out the html tags and stuff.

              There was a rumor of a tutorial coming…

              • BlueCat says:

                Screw tutorials. The old site was fun for us illiterates because so much stuff was so easy. If the fix is just giving us stuff to study I’ll stick with my new, simpler level of participation.

                I really miss being able to click on “comments” and instantly see who’s responded to me as far back as I care to look. It made real conversations easy. Bit that’s the operative word for me. From here on out if it isn’t easy, screw it. I was never crazy about school to begin with. Not going back for a blog.

      • HarleyHarley says:

        "Why are Republicans in favor of pollution and so protective of an oil dependent economy?"

        That is one easy answer.   They all want Koch Bros. money to keep their campaigns going. 

    • ClubTwitty says:

      Look who’s coming to the rescue!

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      Well look who crawled out from his election beating hole.

      Only a totally fucking meatball like you could take an internal Oil & Gas memo and use it to anoint victimhood status on our governor all the while blaming people who like to breath clean air. I guess that isn’t an important issue for someone like you who has his head stuck up his ass most of the time and only smells his own fumes. It is obvious that Hickenlooper likes the O&G industry and has no interest in building on Ritter’s New Energy Economy initiatives. If criticism of Hickenlooper from environmentalists regarding his love affair with Oil & Gas is demonizing to you then we absolutely should be doing more of it.

  3. ParkHill says:

    It is certainly a good thing to have Toto reveal the man behind the curtain, but did we actually learn anything new? What is the old saw about the scorpion: “That’s what scorpions DO.”

    I mean, we know that the oil and gas industry lobbies for more oil and gas development and opposes alternative energy. We know that Exxon has more money than god and uses it to fund anti-science, anti-climate warming studies. We know that the Republican Party is in the pocket of big business and especially big oil.

  4. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    *sigh* yes. I meant despise, sorry.

    • MADCO says:

      no – we don’t despise the Gov. Despite your twisted spin
      We elected him See the difference?

      All alert electors (voters) and citizens want our elected officials to do and be things they do not or are not. So? It's only the childish and foolish who allow that difference and desire to become despisement. I know that's how you think (at least when you are here on CoPols) but it is not that …typical.

  5. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    This is something anyone who works for clean air and water knows all too well.

    “His relationship to the oil & gas industry is strong and he has been a national leader speaking out against the anti-fracturing forces that have invaded Colorado.”

    Frackenlooper likes to pretend he is a centrist and a moderate….but when it comes to oil and gas, he is anything but moderate and now his buddy Jim Cole has said what we have all known about “oily John”…he is an oil and gas lobbyist himself…completely sold out. Get busy AGOP..you should recruit Frackenlooper to join your GOP…the Gas and Oil Party. He is a natural for it..

  6. MADCO says:

    I tend to prefer to jump to occam-ish suspicions first, rather than conspiracy or other weirdness.

    A mistake. Somone was working on both docs- attached one, when meant to attach a different one. It happens.

    And I agree with Park Hill – nothing new here.
    O&G sees the CO Legislators their way – nothing new here.

    I am a little …amused? skeptical? about the twenty new legislators. And how the author thinks they are … amenable.

  7. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    Here is another gem from the memo:

    “There will likely be pressure to eliminate tax credits and exemptions. Severance taxes currently receive about a $300-500 million credit that was the subject of a ballot initiative two years ago.”

    What could our state government do with an extra $400,000,000 per year? Maybe help out our struggling schools…build some bridges…fund mental health care?

    Let’s hope there is sufficient pressure to convince the legislature to repeal the Ad Valorum Tax Credit…this year.

  8. MADCO says:

    Good question.

    Is that how/why Wyoming public schools achieved a 1:1 pc to student ratio?

    I know their severance is higher – and structured differently.
    But I’ve never fully understood how.

    Alsaka I get.

  9. sporobolus says:

    rarely comment here, but i am struck that this may be the perfect opportunity to let legislators know that it is time to get serious about Colorado’s role in responding to climate change; i plan to personally let my representative (Ferrandino) know that i think the time moderate behavior toward fossil fuels is past

    • MADCO says:

      Compromise is for …

      …the other side.
      …when you are wrong.
      ..losers.

      Or something.

    • GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

      Yep, it’s a very good time. Speaker Ferrandino is mine too. (We must be neighbors.) As speaker, he definitely needs to hear from us. Especially to BC’s point: ” …Dems, no matter how moderate, shouldn’t be volunteering to join Rs in their short sighted stupidity.”

      Don’t know, actually, how “moderate” Ferrandino is on the O&G issues. He does like to build consensus. But he’s a fighter for what he believes in.

  10. lalibertad says:

    This Cole guy sure has his tit in a ringer, but I’ve heard other things about this firm too. Specifically one of his partners enjoys sexual relations with certain GOP members. I’m not saying the partner is exclusive with GOPers, but the partner apparently has a history.

    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

      Seriously…who the fuck (no pun intended) cares about that? Is it impossible for you to elevate the discussion beyond your childish, prurient interests?

      • GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

        I don’t know…who’s fucking whom sometimes turns out to be, if not relevant, at least fun to watch. And if it’s happening across the street from the gold dome, it’s more than interesting.

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          Hmmm . . . maybe?

          But then again, what Ladouche “knows” about anything has by and large proven itself remarkably suspect.

          What LaMaroon knows about fucking, especially fucking involving other people???? . . . New name, new platform, same undeniable fool . . .

  11. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    I guess we need to beef up our squarish state border patrols. All those commie environmentalists pouring in while we sleep–why, it’s time to hide our women, kids and legislators in the root cellar.

    “:…the anti-fracturing forces that have invaded Colorado.”

    Indeed. And Chesapeake is headquartered where? Oklahoma City, Colorado?

  12. rathmone says:

    In light of this, it seems the firm’s website pitch really does feature truth in advertising:

    We work the entire legislature. We target activities to members of the entire General Assembly. Issues rarely are decided on a strict party-line vote. We spend time developing relationships that cross party boundaries and present issues in the way individual legislators can “hear” it.

    We use position papers extensively. Individuals or associations sometimes hand out fact sheets or “write ups” on particular issues at the state capitol. We have a reputation for doing position papers that explain succinctly the bill, its background and need, and whether we are supporting, opposing or amending it. The act of drafting a position paper imposes a discipline on us as we seek to distill information and “get our head around an issue.” The final document facilitates communication between members of the legislature and our client.

    We can take the heat. Many lobbyists fold when an issue becomes nasty or the subject matter is unpleasant. We stand in there and fight. We thrive on pressure and deliver a good result for our clients, often under difficult conditions.

  13. MADCO says:

    What does the That GIrl hair icon do?

  14. TLS says:

    They say that a gaffe is when a politician is caught telling the truth.  This would be an epic gaffe.

  15. coob says:

    "The good news is that there are at least three democrats in the Senate that do not want to have a fight over hydraulic fracturing and we have a good chance to sway them on that and other oil and gas issues."

    Anyone care to speculate on who these three Democratic Sentors are?

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  17. Obat Herbal says:

    Lobbyist was always there and is needed throughout the ages. Moreover, it is related to oil and energy. They needed to dilute the relationship and compromise the various interests involved. More precisely they actually called the realtor everything.

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  18. Obat Herbal says:

    Lobbyist was always there and is needed throughout the ages. Moreover, it is related to oil and energy. They needed to dilute the relationship and compromise the various interests involved. More precisely they actually called the realtor everything.

    http://herbalmedika.com

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