Kert Davies, Greenpeace Research Director and the Director of our Polluterwatch project, sent a letter today calling on Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) to come clean about his post Senate plans. Senator Dorgan announced earlier this month that he would be retiring from the Senate at the end of the year, and that afterward he would like to "work on energy policy in the private sector."
As Davies writes in the letter;
As a longtime member of Congress I am sure you are aware that, regardless of your actual intentions, this language is often code for legislators who have begun trolling for an influence peddling job after they leave Congress. And, the path from public servant to influence peddler is a sadly well-worn one: Rep. Bob Livingston, Senator John Breaux, Rep. Billy Tauzin, and Senator Trent Lott.
I recall seeing you as a speaker at the oil industry’s controversial, pay-to-play forum on December 1st, just five weeks before you announced your retirement. As you will recall, this highly questionable exercise was one in which Newsweek was caught renting out its name, credibility and top pundit to big oil’s influence peddler, Jack Gerard. We were able to document Mr. Gerard’s unwillingness to answer basic questions about the purchase price of Newsweek’s credibility, and you can see the results at youtube.com/polluterwatch.
Indeed, Senator Dorgan was the lone senator appearing beside American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard at the API sponsored Newsweek "Energy Forum," as shown in the photo below from that event. Greenpeace called on the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate the Big Oil sponsored panel held inside the US capitol.
Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) appears with American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard at the API sponsored Newsweek "Energy Forum"
Greenpeace is calling on Senator Dorgan to:
- List the dirty energy lobbyists and their respective clients with whom you have had contact about your next job.
- Release all details of phone calls, emails or meetings you have had with prospective employers from energy interests who have lobbied you or your office. Of particular interest are Washington-area lobbying and public relations firms.
- Pledge that you will wait until after an energy bill is passed this year to engage in any further discussions about future employment with interests that lobby you.
You can read the full text of the letter to Senator Dorgan here.