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Director of Intergovernmental and External Affairs

Todd Wynn is serving as the Interior Department’s Director of Intergovernmental and External Affairs. “The Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (OIEA) strengthens relationships between state and local partners and external stakeholders with the Office of the Secretary. OIEA also serves as liaison for governmental and non-governmental partners in communicating with Departmental offices and the Bureaus.”

Climate science denier and land transfer enthusiast Todd Wynn worked for Koch-backed groups and energy interests before coming to the Interior Department. Wynn graduated from California State University- Long Beach, got his masters at the University of San Francisco, and then spent a year working at the International Crop Research Institute of the Semi-Arid Tropics. Next, from July 2008 to September 2011, Wynn worked at the Cascade Policy Institute, part of the Koch-backed “State Policy Network.” At the Cascade Policy Institute, among other accomplishments, Wynn co-produced a film arguing against climate change legislation in which Wynn claimed that “global warming could be a net benefit for the planet.” Next, from September 2011 to September 2013, Wynn worked at the Koch-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) where he was the Director of the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force, a task force whose membership was heavily stacked with oil and gas interests. After ALEC, Wynn became the Director of External Affairs for the Edison Electric Institute, which is the “power industry’s trade association,”  and held this position until taking a job at Interior.

Sources: [Department of Interior, “Intergovernmental and External Affairs,” accessed 10/26/17, LinkedIn Profile for Todd Wynn, accessed 10/26/17, “Cascade Policy Institute,” State Policy Network, accessed 10/26/17, Erik Pilkington and Suzanna Goldenberg, Tal Kopan, “Report: Think tanks tied to Kochs,” Politico, 11/13/13, Todd Wynn, “Climate Chains,” Vimeo, 10/12/09, (08:00), Meeting Minutes from Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force Meeting, American Legislative Exchange Council, 04/29/11, accessed via archive.org, Gabe Elsner, “ALEC Energy Director Misleads the Wall Street Journal,” Huffington Post, 04/02/13, and John Downey, “Duke Energy CEO elected vice-chairman of the Edison Electric Institute,” Charlotte Business Journal, 06/13/17]

Special Interests

Cascade Policy Institute (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Wynn worked at the Cascade Policy Institute, an organization that promotes "public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility and economic opportunity" and is part of the Koch-backed State Policy Network.

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also connected to:

State Policy Network (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Wynn worked at Cascade Policy Institute, an organization that is part of the State Policy Network, which is a network "of groups that act as incubators of conservative strategy" at the state level that receive funding from Koch brother funded groups.

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also connected to:

American Legislative Exchange Council (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Wynn was the Director of the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force when he worked at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a "Koch brothers-backed group."

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also connected to:

Edison Electric Institute (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Immediately before he worked at the Interior Department, Wynn worked as the Director of External Affairs for the Edison Electric Institute, which is the "power industry's trade association."

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also connected to:

Alliant Energy (Resource Development on Public Lands)

When Wynn led ALEC's Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force, one of the members of the task force was Alliant Energy, a utility holding company that provides electricity and natural gas services to customers in the MidWest.

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also connected to:

American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (Resource Development on Public Lands)

When Wynn led ALEC's Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force, one of the members of the task force was ACCCE, a trade organization that advocates on behalf of coal-fueled electricity and the coal fleet.

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American Gas Association (Resource Development on Public Lands)

When Wynn led ALEC's Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force, one of the members of the task force was the American Gas Association, which represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver natural gas throughout the US.

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American Petroleum Institute (Resource Development on Public Lands)

When Wynn led ALEC's Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force, one of the members of the task force was the American Petroleum Institute, which is the top oil and natural gas lobby.

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BP (Resource Development on Public Lands)

When Wynn led ALEC's Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force, one of the members of the task force was multinational oil company BP.

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Duke Energy Corporation (Resource Development on Public Lands)

When Wynn led ALEC's Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force, one of the members of the task force was Duke Energy Corporation, which "engages in electric power and gas distribution operations, and provides other energy related services."

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also connected to:

ExxonMobil Corporation (Resource Development on Public Lands)

When Wynn led ALEC's Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force, one of the members of the task force was multinational oil and gas company ExxonMobil.

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Nuclear Energy Institute (Resource Development on Public Lands)

When Wynn led ALEC's Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force, one of the members of the task force was the Nuclear Energy Institute, the nuclear industry's largest trade group in the U.S.

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also connected to:

Peabody Energy (Resource Development on Public Lands)

When Wynn led ALEC's Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force, one of the members of the task force was Peabody Energy, the largest private-sector coal company in the world.

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Salt River Project (Resource Development on Public Lands)

When Wynn led ALEC's Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force, one of the members of the task force was the Salt River Project, the largest provider of water and power to the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area.

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Background Information

Previous Employers

International Crop Research Institute of the Semi-Arid Tropics

Cascade Policy Institute  

American Legislative Exchange Council

Edison Electric Institute

Additional Background on Employers of Note:

Todd Wynn previously worked at the Cascade Policy Institute, an organization that “promote[s] public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility and economic opportunity” and is part of the Koch-backed State Policy Network.  

Todd Wynn worked at the Cascade Policy Institute (CPI); from July 2008 to May 2010 he was a Climate Change and Energy Policy Analyst and Director of CPI’s Environment Project, and from April 2010 to September 2011 he was the Vice President of CPI. [LinkedIn Profile for Todd Wynn, accessed 10/26/17]

The Cascade Policy Institute is a “nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research and educational organization” that aims to “develop and promote public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility and economic opportunity” and that “promotes property rights, incentives, markets and decentralized decision-making.” Cascade Policy Institute is part of the State Policy Network, “an alliance of groups that act as incubators of conservative strategy” at the state level that receive funding from groups funded by the Koch brothers. [“About Cascade Policy Institute,” Cascade Policy Institute, accessed 10/26/17, “Cascade Policy Institute,” State Policy Network, accessed 10/26/17, Erik Pilkington and Suzanna Goldenberg, “State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax,” The Guardian, 12/05/13 and Tal Kopan, “Report: Think tanks tied to Kochs,” Politico, 11/13/13]

At CPI, Wynn led the Carbon Cartel Education Project, which, in his words, worked “on all the issues of this government cartel that would be created” through carbon regulation and “energy rationing.”

Also, while at the Cascade Policy Institute, Todd Wynn was the Project Director of the Carbon Cartel Education Project, which aimed to “raise awareness of the costs and implications of policies based on global warming alarmism by conducting a multi-faceted campaign to peel away grassroots political support for carbon restrictions, while simultaneously promoting market-based policies that preserve individual liberty, economic opportunity, and environmental quality.” [“Carbon Cartel Education Project,” Cascade Policy Institute, 11/01/12, accessed via archive.org]

Todd Wynn has described his work at the Carbon Cartel Education Project as “really hit[ting] on all the issues of this government cartel that would be created through a carbon regulation and these energy rationing issues.” [Todd Wynn, “International Climate Change Conf. – Part 1 (Todd Wynn),” Youtube, 04/01/09, (04:07)]

Wynn co-produced a video that argues that “climate legislation would have a far-reaching impact on our standard of living and give government a portal into every aspect of our lives.” In the video, Wynn claims that “climate change is a perfect scapegoat for environmentalists… to change the behavior, the lifestyle, and the standard of living of every single citizen on the planet.” He also claims that “global warming could be a net benefit for the planet in fact.”

While he was at Cascade Policy Institute, Todd Wynn co-produced and co-wrote a video named “Climate Chains,” that features speakers from the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute and Competitive Enterprise Institute, and in which Wynn also appears. The film argues that “carbon dioxide is not an actual pollutant, doesn’t cause any negative human health effects, and is an essential element of life,” that “climate change is the latest effort to put prosperity and personal freedom in chains” and that the “creation of a cap and trade program is the newest in a long line of eco-fads.” [“View Film,” Climate Chains, 10/20/09, accessed via archive.org, and “Climate Chains,” Vimeo, 10/12/09, (15:30) and (10:07)]

In the video, Todd Wynn claims, “climate change is a perfect scapegoat for environmentalists. They can use that to change the behavior, the lifestyle, and the standard of living of every single citizen on the planet.” He continues, “We also have to look at the benefits of higher global temperatures, a lot of places that weren’t arable land before are now going to be. And I think that’s important, that you need to weigh those costs and benefits. I think that global warming could be a net benefit for the planet in fact.” [Todd Wynn, “Climate Chains,” Vimeo, 10/12/09, (07:26) and (08:00)]

Later in the video, Wynn says that “Environmental quality is a luxury good. You can only afford it if you have money in your pocket.” He later claims that the “free market is moving us towards what we are demanding; we don’t need government regulations for that.” [Todd Wynn, “Climate Chains,” Vimeo, 10/12/09, (16:44) and (17:36)]

The video concludes that “if we really care about long term sustainability, only the free market and the creativity and the constant incremental changes and the pressure can solve that, can create true, long term sustainability.” Another speaker claims that climate change is “about wanting to control people, let’s decide what cars they drive, what refrigerators they buy, where they work, what kind of manufacturers are here in the United States.” [“Climate Chains,” Vimeo, 10/12/09, (17:18) and (18:56)]

Todd Wynn worked at the Koch-backed American Legislative Exchange Council where he was the Director of the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force, a task force whose membership was heavily stacked with oil and gas interests.

From September 2011 to September 2013, Todd Wynn worked at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a “Koch brothers-backed group.” [LinkedIn Profile for Todd Wynn, accessed 10/26/17, and Tarini Parti, “‘Dark money’: ALEC wants image makeover,” Politico, 07/30/15]

At ALEC, Wynn was the Director of the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force. In the same year that Wynn started at ALEC, the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force’s members included: Alliant Energy, American Coalition for Clean Coil Electricity, American Electric Power Company, American Gas Association, American Petroleum Institute, BP, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Duke Energy Corporation, Edison Electric Institute, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Hilex Poly Company LLC, Nuclear Energy Institute, Peabody Energy, and Salt River Project. Its task force members “fund almost all of ALEC’s operations.” [Meeting Minutes from Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force Meeting, American Legislative Exchange Council, 04/29/11, accessed via archive.org, and Gabe Elsner, “ALEC Energy Director Misleads the Wall Street Journal,” Huffington Post, 04/02/13]

During his time at ALEC, Wynn fought against state renewable energy mandates and federal regulation of fracking.

As the director of ALEC’s Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force, Todd Wynn worked to reverse state renewable energy mandates across the country. Wynn believes renewable energy mandates are “economically disastrous” and “great examples of crony capitalism.” He has claimed that renewable energy mandates lead to “higher electricity rates, lower economic growth and, subsequently, lower standard of livings” and has called for the “outright repeal of these crony capitalist policies.” [Juliet Eilperin, “Climate skeptic group works to reverse renewable energy mandates,” Washington Post, 12/24/12, and Todd Wynn, “ALEC to States: Repeal Renewable Energy Mandates (‘Electricity Freedom Act’ model bill adopted),” MasterResource Blog, 11/01/12]

While at ALEC, Wynn advocated for ALEC’s model bill, the Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Disclosure Composition Act. The bill asked oil and gas companies to voluntarily disclose the “composition of their fracking fluid on a publicly accessible website” instead of allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate fracking disclosures. Wynn thinks that “federal control over hydraulic fracturing” is part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s “unprecedented… regulatory assault.” [Todd Wynn, “ALEC Encourages Responsible Resource Production,” American Legislative Exchange Council, 03/01/12, and Todd Wynn, “EPA’s Assault on State Sovereignty Part II,” American Legislative Exchange Council, 06/27/13]

While at ALEC, Todd Wynn advocated transferring federal land to the states.

In a June 2013 blog post, Wynn praised Utah State Representative Ken Ivory’s 2012 legislation HB 148, the Transfer of Public Lands Act, which, Wynn explained, “had subsequently become ALEC model policy for other state legislators to use as an example.” Wynn warned, “expect more states to press this issue both in the East and the West as state legislators are likely to continue to work together through ALEC and other organizations in order to gain back their land.” [Todd Wynn, “Nevada Becomes the 5th Western State to Explore the Transfer of Public Lands,” American Legislative Exchange Council, 06/06/13]

Other Information

Todd Wynn has claimed that states implementing cap and trade systems would “have no effect on global warming” and has mocked the concept of carbon neutral offsets. 

At Cascade Policy Institute, Todd Wynn claimed that “proposals in the Oregon Legislature to implement a Cap-and-Trade system would have no effect on global warming.” [Joe Gamm, “County inspired by Community Emergency Response Teams’ efforts; Commission looks to hire county manager; stimulus projects meeting on tap,” The Daily Astorian, 01/29/09]

Todd Wynn, in 2009, made a video called “Karma Neutral Offsets” to make fun of the concept of carbon neutral offsets. Wynn says, “We got this idea from those guys who sell carbon offsets… Picture this, you commit a bad deed, like robbing someone for money or stealing a car… then, to offset, and equal out the bad karma produced by your bad deed, a Karma Neutral employee, or someone paid by Karma Neutral, will do a good deed to offset your bad karma, in the form of a certificate to the good karma we produced.” [Todd Wynn, “Karma Neutral Offsets,” Youtube, 02/24/09]

Todd Wynn, in 2009, claimed that there hasn’t been “much” climate change in the Pacific Northwest; he said, “I believe they’ve seen maybe a one degree Fahrenheit increase in the last hundred years.”

[Todd Wynn, “International Climate Change Conf. – Part 1 (Todd Wynn),” Youtube, 04/01/09, (01:28)]

Todd Wynn has said that he does not consider carbon dioxide to be a “real pollutant.”

[Todd Wynn, “Renewable Energy- Todd Wynn- Cascade Policy Institute,” Youtube, 06/11/11 (3:30)] 

 

Todd Wynn has fought efforts to ban plastic bags and efforts to tax paper bags, and has even claimed that plastic bags were developed “to improve the environment.”

Todd Wynn has criticized efforts to ban plastic bags. According to Wynn, the “major reason” plastic bags were originally developed was “to improve the environment,” and “one paper bag produces almost five times the atmospheric pollutants and 15 times the waterborne pollutants of a single plastic bag.” Instead of passing laws to ban plastic bags, he claims, environmentalists should try to “change culture” by “voluntarily winning hearts and minds.” Wynn has also claimed that a “government-imposed price on paper bags” is “truly a dangerous overreach of government.”

[Todd Wynn, “Editorial: Environmentalists need to get beyond ‘ban, ban, ban,'” The Oregonian, 12/23/10, and Todd Wynn, “Opinion: The proper role of government: Banning bags, setting prices?” Statesman Journal, 02/18/11]

Todd Wynn thinks that protecting property rights is the best way to protect the environment.

Todd Wynn has claimed that “when you protect property rights, that’s really the ultimate way—the proper establishment of property rights is the ultimate way to protect the environment because if you’re harming the environment, or someone else is, you can hold them accountable.” [Todd Wynn, “Todd Wynn on Climate Change & Free Market Environmentalism,” Youtube, 10/26/09, (02:17)] 

Todd Wynn was Facebook friends with Utah State Representative and land-transfer enthusiast Ken Ivory. Ivory has also tagged Wynn in Facebook posts advocating land transfer.

On September 25, 2015, Ken Ivory tagged Todd Wynn in a Facebook story that said the two had been “Friends on Facebook” for three years.

[Facebook Stories Tagged with Todd Wynn, accessed 10/26/17] 

On December 29, 2014, Ken Ivory tagged Todd Wynn in a Facebook post about transferring public lands. Ivory wrote, “‘…Then You Win.’ Ghandi #TransferPublicLands #utpol @AmericanLandsCn ‘This is a wonderful time to be alive. We’re lucky not to live in pale and timid times. We’ve been blessed with the opportunity to stand for something.’ (R. Reagan).'” Ivory tagged the American Lands Council, his land transfer organization, as well as land seizure activists Jennifer Fielder, Marjorie Haun, and Darin Bushman in his post. The post came just two days before December 31, 2014, which was the deadline that Ivory’s bill, HB 148, gave to the federal government to transfer public lands in the state to Utah. [“Utah: State ramps up lands fight as deadline passes,” Greenwire, 01/05/15]

[Facebook Stories Tagged with Todd Wynn, accessed 10/26/17]  

[Facebook Stories Tagged with Todd Wynn, accessed 10/26/17]

Wynn liked a comment on the post written by conservative blogger Marjorie Haun that said “Bring it on!”

[Facebook Stories Tagged with Todd Wynn, accessed 10/26/17]