“Robert Bradley, of the petro-funded and misleadingly named Institute for Energy Research (Ministry for Fossil Fuel Propaganda, perhaps, would be more precise), continues his lengthy crusade against clean energy with a tirade against subsidies in yesterday’s Washington Times.
Given that Mr. Bradley was director of public policy analysis for seven years at Enron, the natural gas giant that collapsed some years ago in a cloud of falsehoods and lawsuits, one might reasonably question whether his energy policy wisdom should guide the nation.”
– Tom Gray, American Wind Energy Association, “Bradley, IER Continue Long Crusade Against Clean Energy,’ Into the Wind: AWEA Blog, July 29, 2011.
How does one respond to such a statement as this? Mr. Gray may think he is an environmentalist and that windpower is an environmental blessing, but that does not make it so. I am reminded of this quotation by Richard Whately: “It is one thing to wish to have truth on our side, and another thing to wish sincerely to be on the side of truth.”
Had Mr. Gray sought real truth and simply Googled “Bradley, Enron,” he would have found a number of posts I have written that paint a far different picture than Gray does. Here is one entry from my blog, Political Capitalism:
I worked at Enron for sixteen years, almost as long as Ken Lay himself. I joined the company in September 1985 and was part of the mass layoff of December 3, 2001.
In my last seven years at Enron, my title was corporate director, public policy analysis. In this capacity, I worked on natural gas, electricity, and environmental issues, as well as prepared speeches for Enron’s CEO Ken Lay….
In this period, I grew very disenchanted with the corporation’s positions on renewable energy and climate change. Fortunately, I had my own 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the Institute for Energy Research (IER), to allow me an independent voice to speak and write against climate alarmism and corporate welfare. My outside views caused controversy within Enron, and I was not shy about expressing my opposition within Enron either.
The memos below are some examples of my principled opposition to Enron’s rent-seeking activities relating to “sustainable” energy. If Enron had been more free-market-oriented, I believe that the company would be a going concern today.
At my website, I scanned a number of original memos between myself and Enron executives Hap T. Boyd (director of government affairs, Enron Wind Corp); Ken C. Karas (chairman & CEO, Enron Wind Corp); Thomas E. White (chairman & CEO, Enron Renewables Energy Corp); and Kenneth L. Lay (chairman & CEO, Enron Corp). And the sparks did fly!
Ken Karas to Hap Boyd (7-15-1997): “Rob’t Bradley is still at it! This guy works for Enron?”
Ken Karas to Tom White (3-7-1998): “Does Bradley still work for Enron? If so, I believe he should be terminated. This article [“Are the Merits of Windpower Overblown?”] is pure yellow journalism…. ”
Tom White to Ken Lay (3-9-1998): “I am sorry to bother you with a matter that I thought was closed. I am not sure whether this article was written before or after you issued orders [to Bradley to stop], but in any case, it does damage to our wind business and seems to violate our business conduct policy.”
Ken Karas to Tom White (6-3-1998): “Our buddy Bradley strikes again! … Bradley has some really clear views on the world that don’t comport with what we are trying to accomplish and seems unable to muzzle himself.”
Tom White to Ken Lay (6-8-1998): “Sorry to bother you with this…. Rob is obviously not a fan of renewables or the global warming issue. Unfortunately, he works for a company that is.”
Ken Karas to Ken Lay (7-17-1998): “I find it amazing that even in a memo to you he cannot help but take wither ignorant or misleading shots at us. I have seen nothing from him on wind that is objective, unbiased, or balanced.”
Yes, I worked at Enron, the same Enron that arguably saved the U.S. windpower industry in the 1990s by buying and recapitalizing Zond and lobbying hard to get a strong renewable energy mandate in Texas. That is another story.
Tom Gray, AWEA Strategic Communications and Lead Blogger
Tom Gray is a former Executive Director and Director of Communications of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and has worked for AWEA, either as an employee or consultant, since 1980. He has a bachelor’s degree from Haverford (Pa.) College and a juris doctor degree from the Catholic University of America. In 2003, he was honored as a Wind Power Pioneer by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America program.