Don't be fooled into thinking that environmentalists are altruists who care for nothing more than saving the earth: environmentalism is big business.

Environmental policy is not driven by tree-hugging activists, earnest liberal bloggers, or ecologically minded citizens. Instead, it flows from the lobbyists and executives of well-connected multinational corporations and built-for-subsidy startups that see profit in the loan guarantees, handouts, mandates, and tax credits Congress creates in the name of saving the planet.

K Street is the epicenter of this green-industrial complex, and ground zero might be the firm founded by Democratic revolving-door earmark lobbyist Steve McBee.

McBee, a former top staffer for Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and powerful House Appropriations Committee member Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., reportedly wrote key provisions in the stimulus bill to open the spigot of green corporate welfare. Also, he has hired up the Capitol Hill staff at the center of big environmental legislative pushes like cap and trade.

Exploring corporate lobbyists' central role in Obama's "green energy" push provides us two important lessons. First, it reveals as hypocritical the Democratic attack that opponents of cap and trade and other green policies are simply shills for big business.

Second, it ought to heighten our skepticism that these "green" policies are really crafted with an eye to helping the environment -- they are more likely skewed toward the bottom line of lobbied-up Big Business.

The bold emphasis is mine, because I think it's valuable to highlight the feedback loop that feeds taxpayer money to environmentalists who then lobby the government for more taxpayer dollars. It's corrupt.

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