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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul linked to climate science smear campaign

Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul linked to climate science smear campaign

Greenpeace releases briefing exposing details of Saul’s connections to DCI Group, ExxonMobil

Greenpeace Media release, August 8, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Greenpeace released a briefing detailing Romney campaign operative and Press Secretary Andrea Saul’s involvement with DCI Group, a firm that was on contract to ExxonMobil at the height of the oil company’s campaign to attack global warming science and climate change policy.
“It’s clear that Saul was part of campaigns that spread anti-science misinformation that has had far-reaching effects on public understanding of climate change.  Voters deserve to know if Saul’s views on climate and science are shaping Romney’s policies,” said Greenpeace Research Director Kert Davies.
Between 2004 and 2007, Saul helped orchestrate a major multifaceted campaign to undermine climate science, including a campaign to undermine Senator McCain’s climate change legislation.  Some of Saul’s work included:
  • Advanced the opinions of contrarian scientists and corporate-funded pundits on the Exxon-funded Tech Central Station, a purported news web site;
  • Sought to promote contrarian voices into the debate over hurricanes and climate change in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina;
  • Promoted the views of a scientist who had no training in climate change to undermine a study on climate change effects on the Antarctic ice sheet;
  • Led a public relations campaign to undermine scientific consensus on the science of climate change;
  • And pushed out press releases for a front group linked to lobbyist Grover Norquist designed to undermine pending climate change legislation.
Climate scientist Michael Mann was a target of DCI smear campaigns during this period and writes about the events in his new book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars
Dr. Mann said, "Andrea Saul and the others at DCI Group who carried out this attack on climate scientists and their work helped to delay any serious actions to combat climate change and its impacts, at great cost to society."
DCI Group is a top lobbying and public relations firm that has represented a range of clients including the Burmese junta and has orchestrated front group campaigns for Microsoft, Verizon and Exxon-Mobil. Two of the DCI Group founders, Tim Hyde and Thomas J. Synhorst, began their careers with the tobacco industry where they worked to undermine the science on the dangers of smoking. Mr. Synhorst oversaw field operations with the “smokers rights” groups, a phony movement designed to shift the discussion away from the dangers of smoking to the protection of smoking rights.
Andrea Saul has been Romney’s press secretary since 2011, and is frequently the public face and voice of the campaign, including articulating Romney’s contradictory positions on climate change.

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