Guardian’s Nuccitelli linked to leading alternative energy company

Remember when rabid arch-warmist Dana Nuccitelli of Skeptical Science and Guardian fame was discovered to be in the pay of an “oil and gas” company (Tetra Tech) (aka Dana’s Dirty Little Secret) and thus probably the worst person to pontificate about eg how bad coal and tar sands could be for the world’s climate?

It actually gets worse.

It turns out that Tetra Tech has a subsidiary company called Tetra Tech Construction, Inc. And what do they do? For example, they do “energy” (of the ALTERNATIVE variety that is):

Tetra Tech Construction expertise in the alternative energy field allows us to support and deliver energy-related projects using engineer-procure-construct (EPC), design-build and/or bid-build models. We provide design and construction services for wind, solar, hydroelectric, cogeneration, geothermal, natural gas drilling and extraction, combined-cycle, waste-to-energy, and electric transmission projects. […]

Surprise, surprise, they are also big in…”wind energy“:

Tetra Tech Construction brings our expertise to support and deliver energy related projects using engineer-procure-construct (EPC), design-build, bid-build models. We provide design and construction services for solar, hydroelectric, cogeneration, geothermal, natural gas drilling and extraction, combined-cycle, waste-to-energy, and electric transmission.

[…] We have completed construction services to clients on 19 wind construction projects in the past two years valued at more than $340 million. These projects supported nearly 1,700 MW of power, over 1,000 foundations, and over 600 turbines installed in states from New York, Alaska, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma, Washington, Texas, Idaho, to Oregon. In fact, the Tetra Tech family of companies has experience on more than 250 wind projects in 34 states and Canada, totaling more than 20,000 MW of wind power generation. Our experience in the construction of wind facilities provides a more practical understanding of front-end activities, including environmental compliance and engineering, thus providing a more complete perspective for achieving project goals.

Wind power is so important for Tetra Tech Construction, it takes special pride of place in their Projects portfolio map:

Tetra Tech Construction, Inc.
Tetra Tech Construction, Inc.

It also means Tetra Tech Construction is in trouble if wind power subsidies disappear, as mentioned in a newspaper article published just two days ago. In what has to be a fantastic coincidence, Tetra Tech is juxtaposed to “interests” linked to “fossil fuels” and the “XL pipeline”:

Renewal of the wind tax credit, which can provide up to $1 million to developers of a large turbine, is a politically contentious issue. In addition to tea party congressional Republicans, opposition to continuing the wind credit comes from the American Energy Alliance, a Washington, D.C.-based industry group linked to petrochemical interests that promote expanded drilling for fossil fuels, including in the protected Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, and approval of the proposed XL pipeline to bring Canadian tar sands oil to refineries in Texas and the Gulf Coast.

“This lack of certainty over the wind credit creates a boom and bust cycle, which is really detrimental to wind project developers,” said Valerie Strauss, executive director of Alliance for Clean Energy New York, an Albany-based lobbying group for alternative energy companies.

One such local business is Gloversville-based Tetra Tech Construction. Its website says it has built 21 wind projects in the U.S. It is currently involved in building the Orangeville wind farm outside of Buffalo, owned by Chicago-based Invenergy, and the only wind farm project under construction this year.

A Tetra Tech official declined comment, referring questions to a corporate office; phone calls to that office were not returned.

The article continues revealing another fantastic coincidence: Tetra Tech’s fortunes go down with the expansion of fracking.

Wind energy plans have been shrinking in the state, as the industry faces a glut of cheap natural gas from hydrofracking, uncertainty over federal support and dwindling financing. The amount of wind power expected to one day plug into the state’s electrical grid has fallen by more than two-thirds since 2009 as developers shelve projects.

I think that’s digging enough. Dana Nuccitelli, rather understatemently described by a reticent Guardian as “blogger on environmentguardian.co.uk […] environmental scientist and risk assessor, and also [contributor to] SkepticalScience.com” has for all intents and purposes an undeclared conflict of interest the size of a planet.

I’ll let readers decide how much such an individual can be trusted with speaking anything near the bare, honest, transparent scientific truth in anything climate change, global warming or even energy in general.

Disclaimer: I never blog or tweet or write on facebook about my day job exactly to avoid any conflict of interest. Because if you write positively about the company you work for, everybody will be entitled to believe you’re brown-nosing or worse. And if you write negatively, you’re immediately out of a job.

28 Replies to “Guardian’s Nuccitelli linked to leading alternative energy company”

  1. Everything being equal, I prefer to assume that even if someone has a very clear conflict of interest / vested interest, it doesn’t rob them of the ability to at least attempt to report in an honest, dispassionate and disinterested manner.

    But when that same person has a track record of publicly ascribing diabolical motives to other public figures based on even the flimsiest of connections, I’m entitled to draw the inferences that they are:

    1) enormous hypocrites

    2) just as swayed by money to the point of deception as they claim other people are

  2. Dana just can’t win can he? He is either a hypocrite for taking big oil’s filthy lucre or a corporate shill for renewables, never mind the contradiction and don’t let an ad hom go to waste . What astonishes me is how you don’t withdraw or the first slur before making out the second. That’s the sort of thing my Gran would’ve called having your cake and eating it.

    1. Hello Hengist. I do not understand the basis of your point. There is no either-or: Tetra Tech is interested in oil and gas (but not sand tars), and Tetra Tech Construction works in the “alternative energy” field. Simple. There is also no “slur”: I am talking conflict-of-interest, not outright corruption.

      There is no evidence that TT has been paying Dana to surreptitiously change the world’s opinion in ways that advantage TT and its subsidiaries. However, conflict-of-interest <> corruption. As explained, the trouble is that Dana is bound to write favorably about all of TT’s areas of interest, and unfavorably about all of TT’s competitor fields, for the simple fact that, were it be otherwise, Dana might find himself out of his job.

      And that’s exactly what Dana’s been doing all these years.

      At the very least, he should have been openly declaring that he had found a dream job with a great company that followed exactly the planet-defending principles he so dearly cares about. As things stand instead, much of his output on climate change has been instead mutated into a sad joke by a scared minor character.

    2. But it’s not a contradiction, he’s both those things at the same time. How can you withdraw the “slur” when it’s merely a statement of fact of where he works? Dana’s career is symptomatic of how Big Oil has actually been a key player in the AGW scam the whole time.

      AGW profits Big Oil, that’s why they sponsor the CRU. It’s a leg-up on coal, and the subsidies on renewables make oil companies a lot of money.

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