Public Records Reveal European Junket for Energy Regulators, Utility Execs Cost $8150 Apiece;

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Advocates Call for Ban on Privately Funded Out-of-State Travel

Santa Monica, CA — Public officials’ trip to Belgium, Germany and England last week with representatives of oil and electricity corporations cost $8150 each, paid in full by the energy industry-funded California Climate Action Registry (CCAR), according to documents obtained under the public records act from the California Energy Commission by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR).

View the documents here.

Covered expenses included:

– $4200 for airfare, in British Airways World Traveller Plus class including “contemporary, three course main meals,” “complimentary wines served in a glass, beers and spirits from the bar” and “a personal amenity pack containing socks, eyeshades, toothbrush and toothpaste”
– $2400 for hotels, including the Conrad Hotel Brussels (the “Luxury Brand of the Hilton Family”)
– $800 in pocket money, although most meals appear to have been provided as part of the group itinerary

“If out-of-state trips are truly important for California policymaking then the state should pick up the tab. Private donors should be barred from sending public officials on foreign vacations, even if they come with a lecture attached,” said Carmen Balber, who submitted the public records act request with FTCR. “This European vacation gave some of the state’s largest polluters — including BP, Chevron and PG&E — unparalleled access to key decision makers as they implement California’s greenhouse gas reduction legislation.”

CCAR donors include BP, Southern California Edison, SDG&E and PG&E. Executives with each company joined the European trip.

FTCR is awaiting a response to public records act requests submitted to Resources Agency Secretary Mike Chrisman and Governor Schwarzenegger’s Deputy Cabinet Secretary Brian Prusnek, also on the European trip.

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FTCR is California’s leading public interest watchdog. For more information, visit our web site:

Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdog
Providing an effective voice for American consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Non-partisan.

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