The Eyes on the Ties blog has been popping with posts lately and addressing the latest in the news cycle. Kicking off this roundup is Kevin’s research into the negotiating table at JPMorgan as it reached a tentative $13 billion settlement with the Department of Justice. Turns out that negotiating table is little more than a revolving door. JPMorgan’s general counsel is the former director of the SEC’s enforcement division. The DOJ’s team includes attorney general Eric Holder, who represented Bank of America and UBS while at Covington & Burling, deputy attorney general James Cole, a lawyer for AIG when he was a partner at Bryan Cave, and associate general attorney Tony West, who represented Washington Mutual when he was at Morrison & Foerster. What a small world.
Rob followed General pro-fracking Petraeus’ journey to another academic post at Harvard’s Belfer Center where he will lend his voice to the chorus promoting natural gas drilling. Petraeus is chairman of KKR, one of the most active private equity firms in the shale gas sector, and teaches a course at CUNY that promotes the embrace of hydraulic fracturing in North America and uses two industry-funded studies as required reading.
Whitney scrutinized Cuomo’s hiring of two former Morgan Stanley executives to his StartUp New York program. Cuomo talked up his two execs’ lack of government experience saying, “This is not about how government works; this is about how the business community works.” So how does the business community work? According to Morgan Stanley’s records it works by dodging taxes and incorporating subsidiaries in offshore tax havens. Whitney’s post received a Halloween shout out from fellow Buffalo, NY non-profit Investigative Post.
— Investigative Post (@ipostnews) October 31, 2013
Lastly Gin reviewed the two panels that were called before the House Intelligence Committee to testify on potential FISA changes to increase transparency at the NSA. The first panel consisted of government officials including Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper and NSA Director, General Keith Alexander. The second was described as an “outside” panel of experts but they had their own inside connections.
The return of frackademia
BP Announced that it was partnering with the University of Texas at Austin for a $4 million study “to support several leading-edge oil and gas industry research projects, with the potential for increased contributions as new studies are identified in the future.” In 2012, UT Austin published the study “Fact-Based Regulation for Environmental Protection in Shale Gas Development” that was blasted for its shoddy scholarship at undisclosed industry ties by an independent review panel convened after we reviewed it in our report “Contaminated Inquiry.” UT also partnered with the gas industry and the Environmental Defense Fund on a series of studies on methane emissions from fracking operations, the first of which was released this September.
Timothy Considine, lead author of the only study from the now defunct Shale Resources and Society Institute at the State University of New York at Buffalo, wrote an op-ed in the October 25 edition of the Denver Post endorsing expanded oil and gas drilling on federal lands. Rob profiled Considine in “Eyes on the Ties” in 2012 after releasing “The UB Shale Play,” a report on the faulty math employed by Considine and his co-authors in coming to the conclusion that fracking in Pennsylvania was becoming safer thanks to increased regulation. Considine, a Wyoming economist, led a now-canceled series of studies on the economic benefits of shale drilling at Penn State that were paid for by the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a gas industry advocacy group.
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— Brad Johnson (@climatebrad) November 1, 2013
Petraeus now making $$$ pushing fracking http://t.co/wxcXNMZPT1
— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) October 25, 2013
— alexis goldstein (@alexisgoldstein) October 24, 2013