Paul Blair

Paul Blair

Credentials

  • The George Washington University. [1]

Background

Paul Blair is a “subject expert” for the U.S. Department of Interior’s Royalty Policy Committee (RPC) subcommittee for “Planning, Analysis and Competitiveness.” The RPC advises Secretary Ryan Zinke on “policy and strategies to improve management of the multi-billion dollar, federal and American Indian mineral revenue program.” Blair is a public interest non-voting member with the stated role “to help compile information, conduct research, and to make policy recommendations that benefit American taxpayers.” [1], [2]

The Western Values Project suggested the Royalty Policy Committee’s membership was “slanted in favor of industry.” U.S. News & World Report reported the RPC was “well-represented with energy interests ready to profit from the committee’s recommendations, but lacked any independent taxpayer voice.” [3], [4]

Blair is also listed as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). ATR is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) “taxpayer advocacy group” founded in 1985 by Grover Norquist that “opposes all tax increases as a matter of principle.” Paul Blair is currently registered as a lobbyist for ATR, according to records at the Senate Lobbying Disclosure Act Database filed as recently as 2nd quarter 2018. [5], [6]

“As the Director of Strategic of Initiatives at Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), Paul Blair handles and oversees a broad portfolio of state, local, and federal policy issues and projects, including free market energy reform, tobacco harm reduction, criminal justice reform, and pro-taxpayer state preemption efforts,” Paul Blair’s profile at the America First Energy Conference reads. [7]

According to his ATR profile, Blair works “works with state and federal lawmakers, third party groups and associations, and political committees and PACs to achieve ATR’s tax and regulatory agenda.”

Before joining ATR, he interned at both The Club for Growth and the National Republican Congressional Committee. He also worked as the Virginia field director for Americans for Prosperity (AFP) from 2008 to 2009. [1]

Blair is also a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). He has commented that ALEC is going “center-left” on energy an environment issues. [8]

Paul Blair and Tobacco

In addition to regularly publishing articles opposing regulation on tobacco products, particularly e-cigarettes and vaping products, Blair has lobbied on behalf of ATR on H.R.2058 , or FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act, which involves revising premarket review and reporting requirements for products deemed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be tobacco products. [9]

Stance on Climate Change

April 30, 2015

Blair penned a sarcastic response on Twitter: [10]

Key Quotes

July 18, 2018

“Killing a carbon tax dead in its tracks isn’t only good policy, it’s a basic IQ test for modern day conservatives,” Blair wrote at the Washington Examiner. [11]

November 15, 2017

Blair has been critical of ALEC for going “centre-left” on tax issues, E&E News reported: [12]

“I think the attention they got on energy and environmental issues was so intense that that’s where they focused on their outreach with the center-left. You can’t pass the laugh test with going center-left on tax issues. To me, you can’t pass the laugh test with me by going center-left on energy and environment issues. But they apparently think they can.”

Key Deeds

August 7, 2018

Blair spoke at the Heartland Institute‘s “America First Energy Conference” (AFEC 2018) in New Orleans, Louisiana. [21]

The purpose of this event is to promote and expand energy freedom in the United States, as outlined in President Donald Trump’s bold America First Energy Plan, a proposal first released during the 2016 presidential campaign. The president’s plan marks a decisive change in direction from the Obama administration’s ‘war on fossil fuels’ and focus on the theory of catastrophic man-caused climate change,” the conference description reads[13]

He spoke a panel on “Carbon Taxes, Cap & Trade, and Other Bad Ideas.” [13]

“Carbon taxes and ‘cap and trade’ schemes, are NOT market-based conservative ideas. They are distortions of the market — a ruse embraced by the environmental left to enact command-and-control policies over our use of energy and the economy as a whole,” the panel description reads. [14]

June 6, 2018

The Western Values Project reported Blair was one of two new members of the Department of the Interior’s Royalty Policy Committee (RPC) who would be meeting to consider streamlining the permitting process for oil and gas exploration on federal lands. Albuquerque Journal reported that Ryan Zinke had chartered the committee, and that the group’s subcommittees had already held dozens of meetings behind closed doors. [3], [15]

We have a lot of concerns about the committee’s entire process, which is opaque and completely nontransparent,” Eaton told the Journal’s editorial board. “It’s energy recommendations are wholly consistent with the agenda of oil and gas companies.” [15]

October 4, 2017

Blair appeared on the Heartland Institute’s daily podcast to criticize a loan program for individuals to install solar panels on low income homes. Audio below. [16]

September 2017

Blair was registered as a speaker at the Global Tobacco & Nicotine Forum (GTNF) 2017. “Leaders from the tobacco and nicotine industries come together with media commentators, government officials responsible for regulations, and representatives of NGOs, the public health community and the financial sector,” reads the event description. [17]

October 19, 2016

Blair was the campaign manager of ATR‘s “Right to Vape Tour” which was organized by ATR, Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association (CASAA), and the American Vaping Association (AVA) to oppose the FDA‘s proposed rules on vaping. Blair also spoke on a Heartland Institute podcast about the tour: [18], [19]

 Affiliations

  • U.S. Department of Interior Subject expert for Royalty Policy Committee – Planning, Analysis and Competitiveness Subcommittee. [1]
  • American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — Member. [12]
  • Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) — Director of strategic initiatives. Former positions included State Government Affairs Manager, Public Relations Consultant, and New Media Associate. [1]
  • Cooper and Kirl, PLLC — Project coordinator (Sept 2011 – Jun 2012). [1]
  • The Club for Growth — Finance intern (Mar 2010 – Nov 2010). [1]
  • National Republican Congressional Committee — Political intern ( Sept 2009 – Jan 2010). [1]
  • Stolle for Delegate — Field director (May 2009 – Oct 2009). [1]
  • Americans for Prosperity — Virginia field director (Jan 2008 – May 2009). [1]
  • Thelma Drake for Congress — Assistant Field Director (Mar 2008 – Nov 2008). [1]

Social Media

Publications

Paul Blair regularly publishes commentary critical of renewable energy and critical of any taxation on tobacco or e-cigarettes. Below are some samples from the Americans for Tax Reform website. [20]

Resources

  1. Paul Blair,” LinkedIn. Accessed July 30, 2018.
  2. Secretary Zinke Appoints Members to the Royalty Policy Committee, Announces First Meeting,” Department of Interior, September 1, 2017. Archived July 31, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/8UMCg
  3. Zinke’s Royalty Policy Committee Meets To Discuss Giving Sweetheart Deals to Industry,” Western Values Project, June 6, 2018. Archived July 30, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/KgAhp
  4. A Case Study in Crony Capitalism,” U.S. News & World Report, February 28, 2018. Archived July 30, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/89YKq
  5. About Americans for Tax Reform,” Americans for Tax Reform.
  6. LD-2 Lobbying Disclosure Form for Americans for Tax Reform filed Q2 2018. Retrieved from Senate Lobbying Disclosure Act Database.
  7. Paul Blair,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived July 31, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/6vjBh
  8. Zack Colman. “Climate civil war bre wing at ALEC,” E&E News, November 15, 2017. Archived July 31, 2018. Archive URL: https://archive.fo/lcAZO
  9. LD-2 Lobbying Disclosure Form for Americans for Tax Reform filed Q1 2017. Retrieved from Senate Lobbying Disclosure Act Database.
  10. I believe in climate change. You know, like when Spring becomes Summer, Summer Fall, Fall Winter, and Winter Spring,” Twitter post by user @gopaulblair, April 30, 2015. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.
  11. Paul Blair. “Stop trying to make the carbon tax a thing,” Washington Examiner. July 18, 2018. Archived July 30, 2018. Archive URL: https://archive.fo/Adiyp
  12. Zack Colman. “Climate civil war brewing at ALEC,” E&E News, November 15, 2017. Archived July 31, 2018. Archive URL: https://archive.fo/lcAZO
  13. Paul Blair,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived July 31, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/6vjBh
  14. PANEL 1B. CARBON TAXES, CAP & TRADE, AND OTHER BAD IDEAS,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived July 31, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/qjSOs
  15. ABQ front and center in fight over federal royalties,” Albuquerque Journal, June 4, 2018. Archived July 31, 2018.
  16. PAUL BLAIR: DON‘T LET THE CITY FORECLOSE ON YOUR HOME OVER SOLAR PANELS,” The Heartland Institute, October 4, 2017. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  17. GTNF 2017 speakers and panelists,” GTNF 2016. Archived July 31, 2018. Archive URL https://archive.fo/cSnhE
  18. VOICES OF VAPERS: THE RIGHT TO VAPE TOUR,” The Heartland Institute, October 19, 2016. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  19. Diane Caruana. “Right to Vape: A new US campaign urging lawmakers to reconsider the FDA’s deeming rule,” Vaping Post, September 8, 2016. Archived July 31, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/fTZw3
  20. Paul Blair,” Americans for Tax Reform. Accessed July 30, 2018.
  21. Speakers,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived August 1, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/mwtga

Other Resources

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