What do Barack Obama and Benito Mussolini have in common? A fascist agenda, of course! According to Myron Ebell, Director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment, environmentalists have a ‘sinister’ agenda akin to Italian fascism of the 1920s and ’30s. He spoke at the “Climate: What Tom Steyer Won’t Tell You” panel at CPAC, where climate deniers united to ridicule all the silly environmentalists, from Steyer to President Obama to Secretary of State John Kerry, and of course EPA administrator Gina McCarthy.
Panelists included Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX 17), who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee; Becky Norton Dunlop, the panel moderator and Vice President of External Relations at the Heritage Foundation; Andrew Langer, President of the Institute for Liberty; and Gary Broadbent, assistant general counsel of Murray Energy Corporation, one of largest coal mining operations in America. Ebell replaced Joe Bast of the Heartland Institute, a renowned climate denier, who had to leave the conference because, according to Dunlop, “a great scientist [and renowned climate denier], Willie Soon, is under attack by the left and he asked Joe to come up to be with he (sic) and his family.” Damn those leftists for challenging a scientist who has been funded largely from the fossil fuel industry!
Opening the panel, Dunlop charged the environmental movement with lying. Flores repeatedly decried “junk science.” Ebell was emphatic that no global warming has taken place in the last 18 years. Langer talked about the “war on conservative speech.”
And shockingly, the coal industry lawyer lamented the dying coal industry. Broadbent spent several minutes discussing the economic hardships imposed on coal miners, the elderly, and the poor — supposedly from the overwhelming regulatory costs on his industry. Talking about miners facing job losses from mine closures, Broadbent wondered how they would survive and claimed that “coal mining is their passion.” Hmm, yes, passionate about black lung. Or perhaps they are passionate about keeping jobs that pay more than 1.65 times the national average across all industries, in an economic environment of falling wages.
It was hard to choose between Ebell’s and Broadbent’s claims for most mind-boggling. But in the end, you always have to pick the corporate shill who likens activists trying to conserve the environment (in an era of unprecedented giveaways to multinational corporations), to the very form of government they are fighting. Lest we forget, the words of Benito Mussolini:
“Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.”
Watch highlights from Ebell’s speech on the panel and my interview with him below, and subscribe to The Undercurrent on YouTube for more independent, on-the-ground reporting. You can see the full panel here.