San Diego Thanks to a flurry of press releases from the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a Santa Monica-based group that advocates legislative gift reforms, and major stories in the L.A. Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Sacramento Bee, last week the Union-Tribune finally reported on San Diego state senator Christine Kehoe's lavish junkets to Europe and Japan. But the paper's coverage omitted another interesting journey, this one made by Jessie Knight, former head of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce and now executive vice president of "external affairs" for Sempra Energy. The European Climate Policy Study Trip was sponsored by an outfit called the California Climate Action Registry, which, according to its website, "was established by California statute as a non-profit voluntary registry for greenhouse gas emissions." Boardmembers include chairwoman Linda Adams, who is secretary of the state's Environmental Protection Agency, and Gary Goldberg, president of Rio Tinto Minerals. In addition to tax dollars, the registry supports itself by charging fees ranging from $400 to $7000 for businesses that wish to join.
According to the itinerary of the European trip, which ran from March 27 to April 5, Knight was joined by Adams; state public utilities commissioner John Bohn; Catherine Witherspoon, executive officer of the California Air Resources Board; and Ralph Moran, West Coast government affairs manager for oil giant BP, among others. Highlights included dinner in London hosted by Climate Change Capital, a lunch paid for by the Emissions Trading Group, and a guided tour of Cologne, Germany.