Monday, June 11, 2007

Big polluter lobbyists again visit White House on impending smog decision

For the second time in a week, lobbyists for big polluters visited the White House last Friday in an effort to influence the US EPA’s upcoming proposed standards for smog (ozone).

It looks like a full-court industry press.

In this latest meeting, representatives of the Edison Electric Institute and the American Chemistry Council met with representatives of the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Council of Economic Advisers. See link below. Industry groups likely repeated their argument that EPA should consider the option of keeping the current standard, set in 1997.

Earlier last week, lobbyists for the electric power, oil, automobile, and diesel engine industries met with OMB. Also sitting in on that meeting was a representative of Vice President Dick Cheney, long considered the go-to guy for big industries opposed to tougher environmental standards. See link below. It’s pretty rare for someone with the Vice President to sit in on a meeting like this. It suggests that industry has really sought to elevate this politically.

EPA is under a court directive to make a proposed decision on the national smog standards no later than June 20. EPA’s independent science advisers, the agency’s children’s health advisory panel, numerous other independent scientists – and EPA’s own staff scientists – have all declared that the current standards are too weak to protect kids with asthma and others from the effects of breathing smog

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