Van Jones Resigns from White House; Targeted by Oil Interests

Environmentalist and green-jobs advocate Van Jones resigned from his post as White House adviser after targeting by the oil-industry-funded right.

White House adviser Van Jones resigned last night from his White House post as adviser on green-jobs creation, issuing a statement that decries "vicious smear campaign against me" launched by "opponents of clean energy." Prior to his White House appointment, Jones was the public face of the organization Green for All, which he founded.

Glenn Beck of FOX News has been relentless in his criticism of Jones, focusing on statements made by Jones earlier in his career, including a petition signed by Jones in <strrike>early 2002</strike> 2004 that called for an investigation of the 9/11 attacks, and whether members of the Bush administration had permitted the attack to happen. Jones says he was unaware that the 9/11 petition included that bit about possible government involvement.

[UPDATE: I should have mentioned here that Jones is the co-founder of Color of Change, the group whose campaign has cost Beck's television show more than 46 advertisers (nine more dropped Beck since Tana wrote that post) -- after Jones left the group.]

Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, who lends his endorsement to Grassfire, an organization that organizes members of the armed Patriot movement through its ResistNet site, called on Jones to resign, saying, "His extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration or the public debate."

Grassfire is currently organizing ground-level opposition to the clean energy legislation -- especially its cap-and-trade mechanism -- supported by the White House.

AlterNet reported last month on the racist videos and statements posted on the ResistNet site, including a call for "white folks to riot in the streets" and a video that equates President Obama with Adolf Hitler. Van Jones is African-American.

Glenn Beck's boss, Rupert Murdoch, also has a dog in the cap-and-trade fight, and has allied his network, as AlterNet reported, with Americans for Prosperity, an astroturfing outfit financed by oil industry dollars.

Adele M. Stan is AlterNet's Washington bureau chief.