Congress To Probe Forged Climate Change Letters

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July 31, 2009 10:13 a.m.

That was quick.

A Democratic lawmaker has announced an investigation into the forged letters sent by a Washington lobbying firm to a member of Congress. The letters, which purported to come from Hispanic and African-American groups, urged Rep. Tom Perriello to oppose the recent climate change bill.

Rep. Ed Markey, who chairs the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, just sent out the following release:

Markey Announces Investigation into Forged Letters to Congressman

DC Lobbying Firm Sent Fake Letters Opposing Clean Energy Legislation

WASHINGTON (July 31, 2009) – Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, released the following statement in response to news reports of forged letters being sent to a Member of Congress by a Washington lobbying firm working against clean energy legislation:

“This fraud on Congress shows that some opponents of clean energy have resorted to forgery and theft to block progress.

“This is an appalling abuse, and Congressman Tom Perriello deserves great credit for seeing through it and casting a vote that will create clean energy jobs in Virginia and throughout the United States. I encourage all Members of Congress to be on the lookout for other suspicious and illegal materials.

“My Select Committee will immediately begin an investigation of the extent and scope of this activity.”

Shouldn’t take too long to get to the bottom of this.

Late Update: A Markey spokesman confirms to TPMmuckraker that the probe will look into the questions, among others, of who Bonner and Associates was hired by, and whether other lawmakers received similar letters. And he noted that the committee has subpoena power — though it would prefer to proceed through cooperation.

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