Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Lead lobby makes 11th-hour White House pitch to undermine new air standards

This issue has been a little under the radar, but you may recall the US EPA is under a court directive to decide by next week (Oct. 15) if the current (and grossly outdated) national air quality standards for lead should be revised. (The answer is “Yes.” Clean Air Watch testified on this at an EPA hearing in June.)

And, as so happens as an issue like this comes down to the wire, the special interests are heading to the White House!

Please note (details below) that the battery lobby went last week to the White House Office of Management and Budget to plead their case. (Thanks to the ever-alert Matt Madia of OMB Watch for spotting this.)

They did the usual spouting about “questionable benefits” of reducing emissions. (In the process, they apparently urged EPA to break the law. The agency, of course, is supposed to set standards at a level sufficient to protect people’s health – not to consider costs and benefits.)

According to the materials they presented, the battery lobby protested that tough standards would mean the shutdown of battery recycling operations and possibly the illegal export of old batteries. (The latter is quite an ingenious argument, don’t you think?)

They also appeared to attack EPA’s independent science advisers, who unanimously urged much tougher new standards.

So the corporate scientists know more than the independent scientists? We hope the EPA will surprise us and pay attention, for once, to the advice of the agency’s independent science advisers

We do know, of course, that exposure to lead reduces one’s IQ, suggesting that some of our most noteworthy political figures have been exposed to quite a bit of the stuff.

A final note: pity the sole EPA person at this meeting who was surrounded not only by corporate lobbyists and consultants, but also by hostile representatives of OMB, the Department of Energy, the Council of Economic Advisers, and the Council on Environmental Quality. Somehow the Cheney guy missed this meeting – I guess because he was recently nominated to a bigger job.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/oira/2060/meetings/792.html

Meeting Record Regarding: Lead NAAQS
Date: 10/ 2/2008
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Name
Affiliation
Client (if applicable) -->
Art Fraas
OMB/OIRA

Heidi King
OMB/OIRA

Joshua Goldman
CEA

Tom Grahame
US DOE

Mark Cummings
EXME

Theresa M. Cirone
RSR Corporation

Russell Kemp
Environ
Association of Battery Recyclers
Robert Steinwurtzel
Bingham McCutchen
Association of Battery Recyclers
Terri Bowers
Gradient Corp.
Association of Battery Recyclers
Charlotte Skidmore
CEQ

Charlotte Bertrand
EPA/OA/OPEI

Nancy Beck
OMB/OIRA

Mike Clark
OMB

Kevin Neyland
OMB/OIRA

Meeting material provided to OMB:Document 1 (2 pages, 51 kb)Document 2 (5 pages, 186 kb)Document 3 (15 pages, 574kb)

1 comment:

nick said...

Air for life.