The Udalls’ Winked-at Little Secret in Washington

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BY JOHN DENDAHL – In May, Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson promulgated a “tailoring rule,” following her agency’s action last December finding that so-called greenhouse gases endanger human health. Many consider this action to be a hostage-taking by the Obama administration to force Congress to adopt cap-and-trade legislation long advocated by Al Gore and, more recently, Barack Obama.

On June 6, the U.S. Senate narrowly defeated a resolution proposed by Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and others to disapprove EPA’s rule. Colorado’s Democratic Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet voted in favor of the Obama EPA.


In an email, Bennet reminded me of the Supreme Court’s decision in 2007 affirming the EPA’s authority to examine the scientific case for regulating greenhouse gases.

Therefore, he said, “I would not support stripping the authority of the [Clean Air Act] from the Obama administration.”

In an op-ed July 4 in The Denver Post, Udall repeated the same party line.

This is sophistry. Neither Murkowski nor anyone else asked that the Obama administration be stripped of Clean Air Act authority. In the 1973 Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization
Act, for example, Congress barred lawsuits from interfering with that project. Murkowski, et al, asked Congress for a similar rifle shot against one particular EPA action, not a shotgun blast against its general authority to enforce a statute.

The Supreme Court decision cited in the Udall-Bennet party line came down before the international research scandal (dubbed  Climategate) broke. Yet dissenting justices spoke critically of the “science” apparently underlying the 5-4 opinion.

Bennet and Udall have been in lockstep with Obama since the days each took office in 2009. However, Udall has a glaring conflict of interest in a matter joined at the hip to Al Gore’s advocacy — and Gore’s financial fortune.

The Alliance for Climate Protection and Climate Protection Action Fund were founded and funded by Gore. They have as their purposes, respectively, propagandizing the public
and lobbying government officials internationally to take actions Gore claims are necessary to mitigate anthropogenic global warming.

Both are headed by Udall’s wife, Maggie Fox.

Only a Coloradan here and there is aware of this conflict. If the Udalls were conservatives, however, one could expect The New York Times and its considerable echo chamber to be at their throats like a rabid dog. It would not be a winked-at little secret.

Udall’s chief of staff and I have discussed this, as recently as this week. The rules for members of Congress are frequently in a world all their own, so I was assured that Udall is protected all sorts of ways and has no ethics problem here.

But in the real world of private conduct? Well, “If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.” And scandalous, at least by the rules most of the news media applies to conservatives.

John Dendahl is retired and lives in Littleton. His career included CEO positions in the nuclear safety and banking industries.