Murkowski Amendment To Protect Polluters Was Written By Dirty Polluter Lobbyists

Murkowski Amendment To Protect Polluters Was Written By Dirty Polluter Lobbyists
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The Washington Post is reporting that Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s amendment to gut EPA authority to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act was written by two Washington lobbyists known for representing some of the worst polluters in the nation.

Surprise, surprise!

Juliet Eilperin writes on the Post Carbon blog:
 “The Washington Post has confirmed that two Washington lobbyists, Jeffrey R. Holmstead and Roger R. Martella, Jr., helped craft the original amendment Murkowski planned to offer on the floor last fall. Both Holmstead, who heads the Environmental Strategies Group and Bracewell & Guiliani, and Martella, a partner at Sidley Austin LLP, held senior posts at EPA under the Bush administration and represents multiple clients with an interest in climate legislation pending before Congress.”

The Post notes that Sen. Murkowski is now likely to postpone offering the amendment next week when Congress returns to tackle the subject of climate change anew. 

 “This Mukowski rider should be called the Protect Dirty Polluters amendment, especially since we now know that it was written by polluter lobbyists,” Kert Davies, Director of the new PolluterWatch project at Greenpeace, told me today.

“If this amendment passed, it would be a get out of jail free card for the worst polluters from Big Oil and Big Coal,” Davies said.

And who better to deliver this gift to the carbon barons?  A darling of the Carbon Club, Sen. Murkowski has received $470,000 in campaign contributions from dirty energy and mining interests since 2005, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The Post Carbon piece notes that the lobbyists who helped write the Mukowski amendement, both former Bush EPA employees, have again returned to doing what they do best, representing polluters in an effort to derail climate legislation:
“Holmstead represents industry interests including Southern Company, Duke Energy, Progress Energy and the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council on climate matters, according to congressional lobbying registration forms, while Martella represents the National Alliance of Forest Owners and the Alliance of Food Associations on the same subject.”

The revelations about the origins of Murkowski’s polluter-friendly amendment don’t exactly kick off 2010 on a bright note.  It looks as if Congress is set to continue abandoning the public interest in favor of doing the bidding of polluters once again in the new year. 

Same old, same old, unfortunately.

Murkowski Amendment To Protect Polluters Was Written By Dirty Polluter Lobbyists
Brendan is Executive Director of DeSmog. He is also a freelance writer and researcher specializing in media, politics, climate change and energy. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The Huffington Post, Grist, The Washington Times and other outlets.

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