Carrie Meets the OMB: the Big Climate Attack That Fizzled

Remember that scene at the end of the 1970s horror movie classic "Carrie" where the girl goes to the cemetery and a hand pops up out of the grave and tries to pull her in?

In the movie, it turns out to be nothing more than a bad dream.    Advocates for clean energy and green jobs had their "Carrie" moment yesterday when a supposed "White House" memo surfaced decrying proposals to move the US into the clean energy future and make polluters pay for their emissions. Grist, GetEnergySmartNow and SolveClimate have done great posts on the play-by-play of the memo's emergence and subsequent revelations about what it is and isn't.

One thing it isn't: a White House memo. OMB Director Peter Orszag made clear at that what some claimed to be a "smoking gun" was simply the detritus from the bottom of the suggestion barrel. Orszag made clear the document does not represent the White House position and that "The press reports to the contrary are simply false."

And as my colleague David Doniger points out, the arguments raised simply lack merit - which is pretty much why they were left in the barrel.

Here's what got us thinking about "Carrie":  And as it turns out, the author of the anonymous memo is a leftover Bush appointee from the as ABC and AP reported late yesterday, an appointee in the Office of Advocacy in the Small Business Administration.   (The Bush Administration reaches out from beyond the grave in one more futile attempt to stymie action on climate policy!)

Of course, a complete lack of merit is unlikely to stop the most vocal opponents of federal climate policies from trumpeting the inaccurate news reports. As the US Chamber of Commerce's Brad Peck reported on his blog yesterday, Bill Kovacs mentioned "the memo discovered today talking about the significant cost of regulating CO2."

No doubt the Chamber hopes that its small business members who go up to the hill to lobby Congress this week will talk about the OMB story and climate.

But not only does the U.S. Chamber not speak for all big businesses, its starting to look like it doesn't speak for all small businesses either. Political Action has been organizing small businesses who want to move forward to a clean energy economy, and the idea is starting to resonate across the country.   More on that soon!