Tag Archives: polluters

Romney plan would expand oil drilling

Mitt is indeed a close buddy of Big Oil and polluters in general. The guy will say anything to get the big bucks needed to buy billboard space in all the so-called “swing” states. The GOP candidate is about as far from the world of real science as a politician could hope to get. Read about the friend of Big Oil.


Whose side is the American Farm Bureau on?

Good question. I remember reading decades ago of how this organization was siding with polluters and their friends instead of with real American farmers. The Bureau, I was told, was pretty much an insurance outfit. Read The Nation’s take right here.

As drillers punch holes in Midwest, a lawmaker shares in the spoils

And that legislator is Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma. Two things to remember: Being a politician today is not necessarily about doing the right thing; it’s about who can raise the most money to run for office/run for re-election. Second, those campaign contributions come with strings attached. No bigtime polluter is going to give money to a politician just to be nice. No sir. The checks come with expectations, like in voting against pollution regulations. Read about Boren and his ilk.

The business case for valuing natural resources


Polluters lose in Clean Air Act attack

Polluters Lose in Clean Air Act Attack

from Wildlife Promise

0 4/6/2011 // Joe Mendelson // Clean Air Actclimate changeCongressContinuing ResolutionEPAGlobal Warming

Today, attempts to rollback parts of the Clean Air Act that direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address carbon pollution failed in the Senate.  In a game of political hide-and-seek, varying polluter interests attempted to highjack a bill (S. 493) that reauthorizes two small business innovation and technology research programs. It was a stealthy attempt to amend the bill to prevent the EPA from limiting the vast amount of carbon pollution spewing everyday from our power plants, oil refineries, and factories. Instead of a polluter payday, however, the attempted high-jacking exposed confusion among the varying interests targeting the Clean Air Act and showed that navigating how to limit air pollution is a job best left to the experts at the EPA.

Indeed, the votes showed that the Senate process of trying to forge polluter loopholes in the Clean Air Act creates nothing but a political mess. It took four different amendments to the small business bill to try and cater to the various and differing concerns. Each one failed and combined to create one big sinkhole of squabbling polluters interests.

The four failed votes put a spotlight on the separate special interests seeking their own particular version of a rollback.

  1. An amendment offered by Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (Amendment 183) was supported by the oil industry because it would allow their refineries to continue to spew unlimited carbon pollution. It failed to get the needed 60 votes (a vote of  50 to 50) despite the oil industry’s campaign contributions, led by Koch Industries and Exxon-Mobil, totaling nearly $28M in 2010.  At $560,000 a vote, this was one expensive failure for Big Oil.
  2. A separate amendment offered by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) (Amendment 215) was a two-year “stop work” order on the EPA’s carbon control efforts and supported by his home-state coal companies.  It failed 12 to 88.    In the 2010, campaign contributions from the coal industry topped $7.3M with Senator Rockefeller’s co-sponsor and West Virginian colleague Senator Manchin (D-WV) by far topping the list. In coughing up over $608,000 a vote, Dirty Coal fared even worse than Big Oil.
  3. Another amendment offered by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) (Amendment 277) that sought a more nuanced form of a 2-year delay on EPA’s enforcement of carbon limits designed to help manufacturers also failed 7 to 93.  The substance of this rollback amendment was not even enough to placate the National Association of Manufactures and their $8.5M in 2010 lobbying expenditures.
  4. Finally, an amendment offered by Senator Baucus (D-MT) (Amendment 236) trying to navigate the EPA’s use of the Clean Air Acton agricultural facilities failed 7 to 93.  This loophole amendment still couldn’t garner the support of the American Farm Bureau Federation, political contributor of nearly $700K in the 2010 election cycle.  The Farm Bureau joined with the Koch Brother’sAmericans for Prosperity to seek an even broader attack on the EPA’s ability to limit carbon pollution.

Simultaneously, the Senate’s polluter compatriots in the House continued their own assault on the Clean Air Act.  Picking up where they left off in using the budget battle to gut EPA (see my previous blog here),  the House is poised to pass Congressman Upton’s H.R. 910 later tonight – a bill that even overturns the scientific finding that carbon pollution causes climate change.

As these special interest measures collided on the Senate floor and the House legislated away a scientific consensus, the public continued to look on with disgust.  A recent poll confirms that 77 percent of Americans, including 61 percent of Republicans, believe that “Congress should let the EPA do its job.” Only 18 percent believe that “Congress should block the EPA from updating pollution standards.

Luckily, thirty-four senators have actually chosen to stand up for the majority of Americans.  They have introduced a resolution (S. Res 119) supporting the economic, environmental, and public health benefits of the Clean Air Act.   And over 150 House members took a similar stand in a letter released this week. These numbers ensure that if the polluter dollars somehow are successful in an attempt to roll the Clean Air Act on either another bill or during the upcoming budget battles a Presidential veto of their dirty work would be upheld.



Joseph Mendelson III

Director of Policy, Climate and Energy Program


National Wildlife Federation

901 E Street NW, Suite 400

Washington, DC 20004

Some reforms may be in order, but N.C. needs tough anti-pollution rules

That’s the message of this nice editorial from the Raleigh, N.C., paper. Same things could be said and are being said on the national side. Now if only the legislative friends of polluters and other greedheads would wake up.

GOP wants to shrink N.C.’s environmental agency

GOP = Greedy Old Party. That’s what this is all about anyway, making things easier and more profitable for big polluters.