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Newsweek moves from green rankings to cashing in Green

November 4th, 2009 · No Comments

What a difference a few weeks makes.

September 23-24, Newsweek was the “media partner” for the Council on Competitiveness’ National Energy Summit, mainly dominated by business leaders focused on developing meaningful responses and policies to tackle climate change. That session was a coming out, of sorts, for Newsweek‘s green business rankings, which purported to be the first comprehensive look at America’s top 500 Corporations and their environmental policies. This Summit had speakers like Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, the Presidential Science Advisor John Holdren, and many others providing meaningful and valuable perspective on what we can (and should) do to mitigate climate change. (There were, of course, also some fossil fools there.) Writ large, it was a powerful event of business and other leaders learning from each other about possibilities and necessities.

And, Newsweek provided many of the moderators (even if they were often seeming to shill for anti climate mitigation perspectives in their questions and comments) while handing out copies of their Green Rankings.

Now we see that Green Newsweek perhaps should be ranking itself low on that in the rankings as it cashes in some green as Newsweek is partnering this time with the American Petroleum Institute for an “Executive Forum” on “Climate and Energy Policy”. API is publishing full page ads in the Washington Post arguing against climate legislation with truthiness-laden assertions about energy prices.

TPM Muckraker put it like this:

API has been a key opponent of serious efforts to address climate change, spending over $3 million lobbying on the Waxman-Markey climate change bill this year. This summer, Gerard sent a memo to API member groups that laid out a plan to create astroturf rallies at which industry employees posing as ordinary citizens urged Congress to oppose global warming legislation. Newsweek itself covered that news, as an example of “how astroturfing is taking over local activism.”

TPM further notes, however, that Newsweek has a record of “going soft” on the oil industry, both in articles and in previous partnering for special forums.

In September, Newsweek ran a story by Newsweek International editor Rana Foroohar entitled “Big Oil Goes Green For Real,” which infuriated environmentalists by asserting that oil industry investments in alternative energy were no longer just green-washing, but rather were “the real deal.”

Well, looking at the upcoming “Newsweek Executive Forum”, should we wonder what “the real deal” really is?

The VIP invitation that went out earlier this week:

From: Jennifer Slattery
Sent: Mon Nov 02 18:36:27 2009
Subject: V.I.P. Invitation / Newsweek Executive Forum – Climate and Energy
Policy: Moving?

Dear _______,

The editors of Newsweek cordially invite you to attend Newsweek’s Executive Forum entitled, Climate and Energy Policy: Moving? This Capitol Hill policy forum is scheduled on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 4:30 P.M. in the Mansfield Room (S-207) in the United States Capitol.
There will be an informal reception immediately following the discussion.

The panel discussion will be moderated Howard Fineman, Newsweek National-Affairs Columnist and Senior Washington Correspondent with special guest panelist Jack Gerard, President & Chief Executive Officer of American Petroleum Institute (API). Newsweek is also honored to have forum invitations currently pending confirmation with notable members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate.
These additional program announcements will be made in the coming days and you will be apprised of these updates.

Newsweek is pleased to be co-hosting this panel discussion with API. To R.S.V.P. please click the below link and register for the event.

Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you need additional information or have further questions.

We look forward to hosting you on Tuesday, December 1 and value your continued interest in energy issues of importance.


Jennifer Slattery

Manager, Newsweek External Relations


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Tags: Energy