Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We're Not Invited

It’s their party and they’ll invite who (whom?) they want to.

According to the Fort Collins Coloradoan:
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley will host a forum at Fossil Ridge High School [in Fort Collins, CO] on the economic impacts of clean energy development. The invitation-only meeting also is hosted by Gov. Bill Ritter and Rep. Betsy Markey and will include business and community leaders focused on the issue.
“Invitation-only,” huh? I for one am SO glad we elected a president that believes in a transparent government. Also, do you see anybody that would have an “R” in front of their names that got an invitation or are going to present? Didn’t think so.

The Coloradoan op-ed notes that Salazar and Sutley will put forward Obama’s plan for “jump-starting the American clean-energy sector to create jobs while reducing pollution . . .”

Awesome! If only the general public were “allowed” to come to the meeting so they could also see how awesome this plan will be. Too bad. Why couldn’t the Obama administration create some economic stimuli and, you know, actually open this event to the public by creating 100,000 invitations that could be printed at various Fort Collins print houses?

In an e-mail from a Colorado citizen action group, the Obama Administration and Colorado officials will answer questions from stakeholders about the local/regional energy issues. The e-mail also said that U.S. Senators Udall and Bennett also got an invitation and will each address the attendees. A protest of the invite-only shindig is planned to go down at 1 p.m. at the Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins, where the event is being held.

Gov. Ritter was quoted by the Coloradoan as saying, “Just as the industrial revolution created jobs in the 20th century, we now usher in a new century of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial vigor.”

I wonder if the pontificators at this private pow-wow will mention the Spain study that found that for every renewable/green job created, two jobs in some other industry got axed. My gut is telling me no.

I don’t know what bugs me more, though: the fact that our politicians are having policy meetings in a “boys only” tree-house club kind of way, or that the Coloradoan spent half the article talking about how green the venue is. FRHS is, apparently, one of a hand full of high schools in the U.S. to get a “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building” certification.

Woot woot! The Coloradoan continued its drooling: “They couldn’t have picked a better location for a forum on this issue.”

Well ladi-frickin-dah. Too bad they couldn’t have let the energy consumers – all of us who don’t hold a political office and aren’t multi-million dollar stakeholders – get in on the forum action. Hurray for hope and change.

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