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Jersey Girl Goes All In For Biden – Exposes Corporate Power And Revolving Door

From NJ Sierra Club, To Obama White House, To Corporate Whoring

I was so pleased to just now read my favorite writer, Jeffrey St. Clair at CounterPunch, absolutely crush Heather Zichal, and thereby expose Joe Biden’s corporate ways:

+ Biden’s top climate advisor, Heather Zichal, left her White House job in 2013. A year later, she landed on the board of Cheniere Energy, a leading exporter of fracked gas, where she pocketed over a million dollars. in 2018 (sic) became the Nature Conservancy’s Vice President for “corporate engagement.”

Just days prior to that, even moderate Bill McKibben blasted Zichal and Biden:

A few hours after the story, as environmental activists (and primary opponents) tweeted their dismay, the Biden team seemed to blush. Biden’s energy advisor Heather Zichal said that the Reuters reports were wrong, and that instead he planned to “enact a bold policy to tackle climate change in a meaningful and lasting way.” But the fact that it was Zichal making the statement essentially confirmed the accuracy of the original story: in the early Obama years, she’d headed up an interagency working group to promote the development of domestic natural gas.

The working group had been formed after pressure from the American Petroleum Institute, the chief fossil-fuel lobbying group, and Zichal, in a talk to an API gathering, said: “It’s hard to overstate how natural gas—and our ability to access more of it than ever—has become a game changer.” Zichal left her White House job in 2013; one year later, she took a gig on the board of Cheniere Energy, a leading exporter of fracked gas, which has earned her over a million dollars.

(Note: Zichal is not alone in this Jersey Girl corruption – recall that Obama’s first EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, formerly head of NJ DEP and then Chef of Staff for NJ Gov. Corzine – is now a well paid corporate flack at Apple – thus ending her career where it began, at the corporate front group seeking rollbacks of the federal Superfund program,”Clean Sites, Inc”.)

I wonder how long Z will remain with the Biden campaign after that.

But the story is even worse than this.

McKibben and St. Clair left out Ms. Zichal’s history, so, given my personal witness to this, we take this opportunity to do so. Check this resume and saga of climbing careerism and unbridled ambition.

I met Zichal (Z) in the mid to late 1990’s when I served as Policy Director of the Sierra Club’s NJ Chapter.

At that time, Zichal (Z), a farmer’s jeans flannel shirt clad Iowan, was an undergrad at Rutgers and a Sierra volunteer who chose to work with the Political Committee.

Let’s just say that I was not impressed with Z’s intellectual firepower.

Z was part of a faction that managed to convince the NJ political committee to reverse longstanding policy to support incumbents and endorse Democrat challenger Rush Holt over the Republican incumbent Mike Pappas.

At that time, after the departure of Director Tim Dillingham, I was Acting Director. I announced the Holt endorsement at a Trenton press conference.

Holt won the 1998 election.

Z then managed to parley that Sierra endorsement and Holt victory into a staff position in Holt’s Congressional Office.

I suspect that Holt, a scientist, shared my assessment of Z’s intellectual firepower, because shortly thereafter Z departed Holt’s Office for a staff position with fellow NJ Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone.

After another short stint at Pallone’s office, Z climbed to Senator Kerry’s office, then the Obama campaign, then the Obama White House.

I have never seen a more egregious individual example of unbridled ambition, lack of ethics, lack of expertise, revolving door, careerism, and systemic corporate & Democratic Party corruption.

[End Note: I was sickened by the way McKibben closed his essay with his cowardly “dem-unity” spin, by essentially soft pedaling criticism of Biden and spouting delusional rhetoric about “turning his policies around”. Sorry Bill, Biden is a longtime corporate democrat who can’t change his stripes and he should not be legitimized in this way:

Obviously Biden will be better than Trump on this (and every other) issue; obviously everyone who cares about the earth should support him if he’s the nominee. (That paramount need is why I’ve been running the #DemUnityTwitterProject these past weeks). And he’s got time to turn his policies around—I remember when he gave a wink and a nod support to those fighting the Keystone pipeline, well in advance of Obama’s eventual veto of the project. His credibility with union workers is understandably high, which is why he would be the perfect person to push for large-scale retraining programs for clean energy jobs.

We’ll close by requoting Howard Zinn’s sage advice:

When a social movement adopts the compromises of legislators, it has forgotten its role, which is to push and challenge the politicians, not to fall in meekly behind them….Whatever politicians may do, let them first feel the full force of citizens who speak for what is right, not for what is winnable….

Howard Zinn

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