NEW YORK — A front group for Washington, D.C.-based public relations firm Berman & Company is back with new targets: green buildings, green groups and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Berman & Co., helmed by Rick Berman (who was once called “Dr. Evil” by CBS’ “60 Minutes”), has a long history of running campaigns on behalf of the food and beverage industry under the banner of the Center for Consumer Freedom. Earlier this year, CCF changed its name to the Center for Organizational Research & Education, according to documents filed with the Government of the District of Columbia and the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office, which were obtained by The Huffington Post. The group also recently launched the cleverly named Environmental Policy Alliance, or EPA for short, a group “devoted to uncovering the funding and hidden agendas behind environmental activist groups.”
An Environmental Policy Alliance spokesperson told HuffPost that the name change is part of a “restructuring” to “broaden the work that we’re doing.” The CCF will continue to exist, but alongside the “EPA” under the umbrella of the Center for Organizational Research & Education.
The new Environmental Policy Alliance appears to be one of Berman’s first major forays into energy and environmental policy. The new “EPA” targets the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which it deems “America’s most powerful environmental activist.”
Berman’s “EPA Facts” site suggests that the connection between rising greenhouse gas emissions and warming temperatures is “still unclear,” despite the fact that scientists have a solid understanding of the correlation. The group also argues that there are flaws in the work of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, citing reports from two well-known climate change-denying groups, theHeartland Institute and the George C. Marshall Institute.
CCF’s Environmental Policy Alliance also launched a campaign called “LEED Exposed” last week, which critiques the usefulness of the U.S. Green Building Council’s rating system for sustainability and efficiency of buildings. The group’s “research” purports to show that “LEED-certified buildings use more energy and are more expensive” than uncertified buildings.
“This latest data release only confirms what we already knew: LEED certification is little more than a fancy plaque displayed by these ‘green’ buildings,” Berman staffer Anastasia Swearingen said in a press release announcing the launch of the campaign on Feb. 28.