Turlay’s fact-finding mission to Vegas

Vancouver City Councilor Bill Turlay said he wouldn’t vote for a resolution opposing an oil-handling facility at the Port of Vancouver and any other projects that would increase Bakken crude oil being hauled through Clark County because he didn’t have enough facts. Many people who testified to the city council in support of the resolution expressed concerns about the environment, but Turlay isn’t sold. (As his wife wrote in letters she had her husband hand-deliver to the other members of the council in an attempt to circumvent public disclosure laws, “The good Lord would not have given us fossil fuels if he had not (meant) for us to use them!!!)

Next month, Turlay will be attending the Heartland Institute’s 9th International Conference on Climate Change in Las Vegas.

“Come to fabulous Las Vegas to meet leading scientists from around the world who question whether “man-made global warming” will be harmful to plants, animals, or human welfare. Learn from top economists and policy experts about the real costs and futility of trying to stop global warming,” reads the institute’s website.

Turlay also attended Heartland conferences in 2009 and 2010. (He’s paying for the trip himself – it’s not city-sponsored.) He tried to get Editor Lou to join him in Vegas by saying he could get him a free press pass, but Lou declined. (That’s the first time Lou has turned down an offer to go to Vegas.)

Here was Turlay’s pitch, delivered via email: “Reminds me of Jack Nicholson in a Few Good Men: You can’t handle the truth. Actually life’s experiences give a much wider prospective than you get from infomercials, documentaries, and printed material.  I thought you might take the opportunity to expand your knowledge base by moving among individuals with whom you usually don’t meet. I have met and conversed with Lord Christopher Monkton, Dick LIndzen, Bob Carter, Pat Michaels, Paul Reiters, Vaclus Claus, Fred Singer,Nir Shaviv, Niles-Axel Morner, Ian Plummer, Craig Idso, Willie Soon, and many others.  The LV trip is one that would open your eyes and mind to a new vision of scientists and their adherence to the scientific method. Make the trip, Lou.”

Major donors to the The Heartland Institute have included the Koch Brothers and Exxon Mobil. To promote its Chicago conference in 2012, the institute put up billboards equating people who believe in man-made climate change with terrorists. It didn’t go over well. 


Turlay will miss the July 7 city council meeting for his Vegas trip, but I’m sure he’ll have lots to share with the council when he returns. I don’t think the adage about Vegas applies here. What happens in Vegas … will be coming home with Bill.




Stephanie Rice

Stephanie Rice

I cover Vancouver city government. Reach me at stephanie.rice@columbian.com or 360-735-4508.

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