Saturday, March 06, 2004

Wow. This is Surprising: Energy Industry Buys Bush Environmental Policy

The New York Times has a long article on how energy industry lobbyists won the battle to weaken EPA's pollution control policies. It's a story that's gotten so common in this administration, it's almost getting boring.

But this one has a few twists: the energy industry's usual lobby, the Edison Electric Institute wasn't radical enough for the power plant owners -- EEI only wanted to weaken clean air regulations, the energy companies wanted to kill them. So Republican lobbyists Haley Barbour (now an Alabama Senator) and Marc Racicot (currently heading up the Campaign to Re-elect the President), formed their own lobbying group dedicated to eradicating the regulations. By lobbying the White House (Cheney) and the Energy Department, topped off with lots of campaign cash, by changing regulations out of the public eye, instead of debating the issues in Congress -- guess who won? The regs have been emasculated. Lawsuits brought during the Clinton Administration have been dropped, scores of top enforcement officials at EPA have resigned.

Ho, hum. Just another day of work in the Bush Administration.