December 18, 2014
Jeff Shockey, a lobbyist for defense contractors and Academi. He will soon lead the day to day operations of the House Intelligence Committee.
Jeff Shockey, a lobbyist for defense contractors and Academi. He will soon lead the day to day operations of the House Intelligence Committee.

Blackwater Lobbyist Will Manage the House Intelligence Committee

After lobbyist-run SuperPACs and big money efforts dominated the last election, legislators are now appointing lobbyists to literally manage the day-to-day affairs of Congress. For the House Intelligence Committee, which oversees government intelligence operations and agencies, the changing of the guard means a lobbyist for Academi, the defense contractor formerly known as Blackwater, is now in charge.

Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA), the incoming chairman of the Intelligence Committee when the House reconvenes in January, announced that Jeff Shockey will be the new Staff Director of the committee. As a paid representative of Academi, Shockey and his firm have earned $80,000 this …

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December 17, 2014
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Declaring Corinthian Colleges Too Big To Fail: A Terrible Idea

The U.S. Department of Education has blessed a deal under which a non-profit student debt collection company, Minnesota-based Education Credit Management Corporation (ECMC), will pay $24 million to acquire 56 campuses, operating under the brands Everest and WyoTech, owned by collapsing Corinthian Colleges, one of the most abusive and deceptive for-profit college companies. The terms of this deal are extraordinarily favorable to ECMC and extraordinarily unfavorable to students.  The agreement creates a remarkable conflict of interest for the Department itself, and it sets terrible precedents for future failing colleges.

The deal is so bad that it seems that …

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December 15, 2014
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Shell Warns Oil Industry May Join Big Coal’s War on EPA to Prevent ‘Precedent’ of Carbon Regulation

Expect much of the fossil fuel industry to oppose the upcoming Environmental Protection Act rules governing carbon emissions from power plants, says a senior executive from Shell Oil. Though the agency’s new Clean Power Plan impacts existing coal-fire power plants, the Shell spokesperson suggested that the oil and gas industry may lobby to block the regulation to prevent the “precedent” of wide-ranging regulations on other carbon polluters.

“In my sector, the oil and gas sector, they view coal first, and oil and gas next. So when they saw what producers have called the ‘War on Coal,’ and they felt that if the administration is …

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December 11, 2014
Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute
Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute

Deniers’ Latest Attack on UN Summit: Poor Countries’ Delegates Show Up Just for the Per Diem

LIMA, PERU — Climate science deniers have routinely appeared at international summits to address global warming, hoping to bog down the process with a litany of arguments and colorful publicity stunts. They’ve charged, for instance, that there is a global conspiracy of UN scientists working to “manufacture a global warming crisis.” At recent events, echoing the coal giant Peabody’s new campaign, the same cadre of deniers have claimed that any reductions in CO2 emissions will limit the development of African nations.

Now here’s a relatively new line of criticism: Delegates from poor nations are showing up to the …

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December 10, 2014
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At UN Summit, Businesses Back Climate Reforms While Quietly Financing Lobby to Kill Them

LIMA, PERU — Several fossil fuel interests are here at the United Nations climate negotiations, putting on their best public face in support of reducing carbon emissions. Despite the lofty rhetoric, with some pledging to lead the way in reducing carbon pollution, the same corporate actors are also fueling efforts to block any substantive reforms.

It’s been called the “Jekyll and Hyde Approach to Climate Change.” In other words, businesses are boosting their brand by appearing to support climate reforms, while working to block policies to achieve these goals at very same time.

Republic Report talked to several corporate lobbyists and business representatives at the summit this …

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December 10, 2014
Geismar LA

30 years after Bhopal, Long Past Time To Make Chemical Plants Safer

Thirty years ago this month, a gas leak at a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, created a toxic cloud that eventually killed perhaps 20,000 people and injured 500,000 more. No chemical accident since then has approached the scale of the Bhopal disaster, but chemical plant tragedies continue every year, including in the United States — most recently a poison gas leak that killed four workers last month at a La Porte, Texas, plant owned by DuPont.

An explosion last year at a West, Texas, fertilizer plant, which killed 15 people and injured 160 more, prompted the Obama Administration to undertake a multi-agency review of …

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December 4, 2014
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Neutron CEO Tells Customers That Republic Report Stories Are False; Ex-Employees Disagree

While one for-profit college in Miami, called FastTrain, has just been sued by law enforcement for, among other things, allegedly hiring scantily-clad women to lure men to its admissions office (an allegation noted by Republic Report back in May 2012), another group of operators in Salt Lake City has been using a different scam — phony bait-and-switch websites — to entice low-income Americans into high-priced, poor-quality career college programs. Republic Report has been exposing these operations for the past few weeks, and one of the companies named is now responding.

Republic Report has obtained a letter from Neutron Interactive CEO Dan Caffee, …

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November 24, 2014
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For-Profit College Marketer Thrived By Posting Fake Ads To Popular Job Sites

 

Neutron Interactive, a Salt Lake City-based business, regularly posted fake job listings on popular job websites including Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com for the purpose of tricking job-seekers into visiting its own websites, according to former Neutron employees. These Neutron Interactive websites, still operating today, also promise jobs, but in reality they usually offer none; their real purpose, say these former employees, is to convince visitors — low-income people, single mothers, veterans, the elderly, all in desperate need of jobs — to provide their cell phone numbers, so marketers at other companies, which pay Neutron for the leads, can sell them overpriced for-profit college programs.

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