Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Unprecedented, But Not Surprising: Industry Lobbyists Write EPA Mercury Rule

Who would have ever thought that this administration's environmental policy would be influenced by industry lobbyists?
WASHINGTON — Political appointees in the Environmental Protection Agency bypassed agency professional staff and a federal advisory panel last year to craft a rule on mercury emissions preferred by the industry and the White House, several longtime EPA officials say.

The EPA staffers say they were told not to undertake the normal scientific and economic studies called for under a standing executive order. At the same time, the proposal to regulate mercury emissions from coal-burning power plants was written using key language provided by utility lobbyists....

EPA veterans say they cannot recall another instance when the agency's technical experts were cut out of developing a major regulatory proposal.
Ho, hum. Just another day in Bush world.