Posts Tagged ‘Anne Master Sholtz’

The saga of Anne Sholtz and Rep. Joe Barton and a little hardware

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Texas Congressman Joe Barton, along with fellow Republican Greg Walden, last year pressured the Justice Dept. to release documents on the secretive prosecution of former high-flying, emissions-broker Anne Sholtz. Barton, a global warming skeptic and longtime champion of big oil, made news again recently for his comments that the federal mandate for BP to set aside $20 billion for cleanup of the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill amounted to a “slush fund” and shakedown. Guess what? He was forced to apologize.

Washington Post story on his outburst, which was curious to say the least. Here’s the official contrition from him in an MSNBC update.

I’m just wondering when Barton will get around to explaining why he and House lawyers and investigators were chomping at the bit to learn more about Sholtz and what her air pollution-exchange scandal says about a  possible greenhouse gas cap-and-trade, when a national energy/climate bill was on the front burner, and why he’s allowed it slip from it from his political consciousness now that the bill’s propsects faded.  Could it be Barton’s entire reasoning was to slam Obama, via California, and shield the petroleum sectors? Naw, couldn’t be.

In any event, my story on Sholtz — and it’s contexualized and expanded in our book Smogtown: the Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles – won gold in the Southern California Journalism Awards Sunday night. I dislike even mentioning this, because I am ambivalent about subjective honors, but in this case I make an exception because after all these years, there is still more heat than light about the Sholtz caper and Barton’s real motives, let alone why the Justice Dept. handled her the way it did and all that CIA stuff.