August 28, 2015
Charles Koch

Charles Koch Distorts the Facts: Here Are The Ways His Money & Political Network Prevent Clean Energy Businesses From Succeeding

Earlier this week, President Obama correctly singled out the Koch brothers – Charles and David – and the Koch-funded network for standing in the way of America’s clean energy future. Charles Koch responded saying he was “flabbergasted” after hearing Obama’s remark. He continued, “We are not trying to prevent new clean energy businesses from succeeding.” This statement is, at best, highly misleading.

Charles Koch states that he believes government should be smaller and it should not subsidize businesses, including any form of energy business. But while he acknowledges that the fossil fuel businesses he owns benefit tremendously from government subsidies, he …

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August 19, 2015
Martella Jr. co-leads the Environmental practice group at Sidley Austin LLP.
Martella Jr. co-leads the Environmental practice group at Sidley Austin LLP.

The Corporations Funding The Lawyers To Fight The Clean Power Plan

Lawyers from coal-dependent states, led by West Virginia, are challenging President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Joining their effort is an army of industry-funded law firms that specialize in fighting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Together, they will argue that the EPA does not have any authority under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act to issue the carbon regulations; they will also contest the legality of the “fence line” used to set state emission targets. Yet, buried in coverage of the litigation is the fact that the coalition suing the EPA is connected to some of the largest …

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July 15, 2015
gunderson

APSCU Letter To For-Profit Colleges: Our New Direction

Former congressman Steve Gunderson (R-WI), president of the for-profit colleges’ main trade association, APSCU, this morning sent a dramatically-worded letter to APSCU members announcing organizational changes that “have the potential to create a new beginning for the sector and the association.”  In the circumstances, his words were reminiscent of Spinal Tap’s David St. Hubbins, who boldly told a sparse amusement park crowd, “Hope you enjoy our new direction.”

As Republic Report reported first yesterday, for-profit giants DeVry and Kaplan left APSCU last month, following the departures in the past year of ITT Tech, EDMC, and now-shuttered Corinthian. As …

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July 14, 2015
gunderson3

Big For-Profit Colleges Quit Trade Group APSCU

Some of the largest for-profit college companies — including, last month, DeVry and Kaplan — have recently left the industry’s main trade group, the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU). The defections have come amid a rapid decline in the reputations and fortunes of many for-profit colleges — and the apparent failure of the D.C.-based trade association’s strategy to protect the industry, which in recent years received as much as $33 billion in federal aid.

Some of the companies that have left APSCU face mounting federal and state law enforcement investigations for fraud and other misconduct. Some have seen …

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June 29, 2015
rivkin

Meet The Lawyers Who Pushed The Supreme Court to Block Toxic Power Plant Rules

In the last announced decision of its term, the U.S. Supreme Court today, by a 5-4 vote and an opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia, struck down the Environmental Protection Agency’s carefully-crafted rules to limit the emission of mercury and other toxic pollutants from oil and coal power plants.

Justice Scalia concluded that the EPA failed to meet its duty to consider the financial costs of the regulations. But as Justice Elana Kagan documented in her dissent for four justices, Scalia failed to acknowledge that the agency did in fact repeatedly consider costs, and he essentially substituted five Justices’ expertise …

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June 10, 2015
arneduncan3

Arne Duncan Transcript: Some For-Profit Colleges have “the ethics of payday lending”

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Under Secretary Ted Mitchell had a conference call for reporters to announce the Department’s plans to offer debt relief for students from the now-collapsed, predatory Corinthian Colleges. I offered some analysis that day about the announcement, but here’s the whole transcript. It contains some of the most emphatic statements ever from Duncan on the abuses of for-profit colleges — and the complicity of many Members of Congress. 

TRANSCRIPT

Press Call on Student Borrower Protections, Assistance

June 8, 2015

2 p.m. ET

Coordinator:          Welcome and thank you for standing by.

At this time, all participants will be on …

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June 8, 2015
arneduncan

Unveiling Student Debt Relief, Duncan Hits For-Profit College Industry and Its Friends in Congress

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan just announced a debt relief package for students who attended schools run by now-bankrupt Corinthian Colleges. In doing so, Duncan sharply attacked for-profit colleges that have engaged in fraudulent acts, and he criticized members of Congress who have blocked reforms to hold the industry accountable.

Duncan said on a 2 pm ET Monday conference call, “You’d have to be made of stone not to feel for these students.”  He said that many of the students “ended up with huge debt, worthless degrees … if they got a degree at all.”

Using some of his toughest language to date regarding …Continue Reading »

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May 29, 2015
Donald Graham

Scholarship Started by Donald Graham Sends Donor Money To Graham’s For-Profit College

The New York Post today reports on an astounding fact that has been in plain sight for more than a year: Washington business scion Donald Graham has co-founded a scholarship program for young immigrants that is sending some of its students, and donor dollars, to colleges owned by Donald Graham’s own for-profit company.

When I read this fact in February 2014 in the Washington Post, the newspaper formerly owned by Graham’s company, I was taken aback. It seemed like a clear conflict of interest. But then, there have been many troubling actions by the for-profit college industry, including by Graham Holdings’ for-profit college …

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