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Thu, 2012-11-01 14:00Brendan DeMelle
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Romney Aide Andrea Saul Denied Climate Connection to Hurricane Katrina, Is Sandy Next?

Over half a decade ago, Andrea Saul, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's press secretary, denied any link between Hurricane Katrina and climate change.

Working as a hired gun on behalf of ExxonMobil at the Washington, DC PR firm DCI Group, Saul was listed as the contact person on a press release that denied that global warming is intensifying extreme weather events:

Coming off one of the most devastating hurricane seasons in recent memory, many are quick to blame the strength and frequency of these storms on global warming. Leading climate scientists, however, say there is no link between increased storm activity and a massive change in global climate.

The 2006 Saul/DCI press release quotes the Koch-funded Cato Institute's Patrick Michaels, who stated, “There are many more factors determining hurricane frequency and severity, some of which (such as westerly wind strength) should become LESS conducive to hurricanes as the planet warms.” 

Michaels is a notorious climate change denier who stated in August 2010 on CNN that 40 percent of his funding comes from the oil industry. As with Hurricane Katrina, Pat Michaels this week denied any connection between climate change and Hurricane Sandy.

Will Andrea Saul, speaking on behalf of team Romney/Ryan, be next to deny that global warming added the steroids that increased the devastation of Hurricane Sandy?

Wed, 2012-08-08 11:20Guest
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Science Denial and Andrea Saul – Romney 2012 Campaign Spokesperson

This is a guest post from Connor Gibson, originally published at PolluterWatch.

INTRODUCTION

 
Andrea Saul, a prominent Romney 2012 campaign operative and spokesperson, formerly worked for DCI Group, a Washington DC public affairs and lobbying firm. During this period, DCI Group was on contract to ExxonMobil at the height of Exxon’s campaign attacking global warming science and climate change policy. DCI’s efforts included campaigns to undermine climate legislation and to push counter messages and spokespeople to media on the connection between extreme weather and global warming. Saul’s extensive role in these DCI Group climate campaigns can be traced through archived documents and press releases. Her role in shaping Romney’s climate and science policy is not known. 
“Gov. Romney does not think greenhouse gases are pollutants within the meaning of the Clean Air Act, and he does not believe that the EPA should be regulating them,” said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. “CO2 is a naturally occurring gas. Humans emit it every time they exhale.”  Politico, July 2011
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Ms. Saul has also responded to Mitt Romney's contradictory public statements on global warming. NPR reported in October, 2011:
“Romney went from believing that humans contribute to global warming, though he was uncertain how much, to saying he didn't know what contributes to global warming.” Andrea Saul denied that Romney had “flip-flopped” on his climate stance, responding:
“This is ridiculous. Governor Romney's view on climate change has not changed. He believes it's occurring, and that human activity contributes to it, but he doesn't know to what extent. He opposes cap and trade, and he refused to sign such a plan when he was governor. Maybe the bigger threat is all the hot air coming from career politicians who are desperate to hold on to power.”
Tue, 2006-11-21 14:01Kevin Grandia
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Sponsors pull plug on Tech Central Station

Looks like former tobacco spin doctor Doug Goodyear's DCI Group is getting with the times and letting loose it's controversial TCSDaily project. As many know, the ExxonMobil sweetheart TCSDaily has been a bastion of the climate change denial movement for quite some time now. You also may remember that DCI Group was embroiled in a bit of controversy lately over a YouTube Al Gore spoof video they produced and posted under the guise of 29-year old amatuer filmmaker.

Fri, 2006-08-04 13:14Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

ABC News: Gore spoof video linked to Republican/Exxon Spinster

ABC news is reporting that a popular YouTube.com video mocking Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth, first purported to be created by a 29-year old, was actually created by the PR firm, DCI Group. ABC also rightly reports that the infamous climate change “skeptic” funder ExxonMobil is a DCI client. Coincidently, the DCI group  is responsible for the creation of “Tech Central Station,” a forum for climate change deniers that just so happens to have received funding directly from Exxon for so-called “climate change support.”

Exxon denies they had anyting to do with the video and ABC reports a DCI representative as stating:

“We do not disclose the names of our clients, nor do we discuss the work we do on behalf of our clients.”

This is yet another in a long list of examples of underhanded PR spin being used to attack the scientific consensus on climate change - it is also an extremely amateurish and immature example of PR in general. DCI's unwillingness to disclose the client footing the bill for this sad little video means they're probably raring up for some damage control on this one. This is a bad PR move on the part of DCI, by covering up their client they are only drawing more attention to the story and making themselves and Exxon look all that more guilty.

Of course, questionable PR tactics by DCI are not surprising, when you consider that DCI's current CEO, Doug Goodyear, was also heavily involved as a PR consultant in RJ Reynold's efforts to manufacture a grassroots campaign against tougher tobacco laws.

I guess when it comes to PR and climate change, we just have to keep “smoking” these guys out of their holes. Sorry, bad pun, had to be done.

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