The revolving door spins with rapidity in Washington following election season, and Tom Hassenboehler serves as an Exhibit A.
Hassenboehler served for the past two years as a lobbyist for America’s Natural Gas Alliance, the most powerful lobbying force for the unconventional oil and gas industry. Hassenboehler recently accepted a new position working for the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Power Subcommittee, and will serve as Senior Counsel under the tutelage of U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), the head of the Subcommittee.
Upton is the cousin of Katie Upton, the wife of controversial Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon. McClendon, in turn, was one of the founders of ANGA. Given these ties that bind, one can safely hypothesize that Hassenboehler will continue his promotion of fracking as a “public servant.”
Prior to working for ANGA, Hassenboehler served as a Congressional staffer for climate change denier, U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK).
Greenpeace USA‘s “PolluterWatch” profile for Tom Hassenboehler shows that he has worked for years as a hired gun in concert with the oil and gas industry and is also a climate change denier. Highlights:
Hassenboehler played a major role in working to derail efforts by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and former Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) to pass a cap-and-trade bill in 2008. “He joined just before Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade bill hit the floor and was instrumental in working to defeat it,” Matt Dempsey, Inhofe’s spokesman, said.
As a counsel on the House Energy and Commerce Commitee for Rep. Joe Barton, Hassenboehler made several trips funded by the natural gas interests he now represents as a lobbyist.
Hassenboehler wrote a letter to the EPA opposing the Waxman-Markey climate legislation and questioning the existence and science behind global warming.
With a track record like this, “Dollarocracy” – not representative democracy – appears more likely to ensue in the Energy and Power Subcommittee during the 113th session of the U.S. Congress. And given a climate crisis worsening with each passing day, this is much more than a matter of money’s clout in politics.
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