Wednesday, November 16, 2016

R.I.P. Leon G. Billings, Legislative Lion and Backstage Author of Clean Air and Clean Water Acts

Clean Air Watch is most sad to report the passing of our former boss and colleague, Leon G. Billings, who suffered a stroke earlier this week.  You may recall he recently co-authored a piece we published here Setting the Record Straight on Clean Air .

He was a true legislative lion -- and in many respects author of so much of modern environmental policy that has come under recent attack. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family.

Below is a little basic biography.  We expect newspaper obituaries in the near future. [Here, for example, is from Associated Press: Leon Billings obituary]  and this wonderful piece in the New York Times is not to be missed: New York Times obit on Leon .

Leon Billings

Leon G. Billings, majority Senate staff author of the basic Federal environmental legislation, has had a 50-year career in politics and public policy. As the first staff director of the Senate environment subcommittee, he was primarily responsible for the Clean Air Act and amendments from 1967 through 1977 and the clean water amendments from 1966 through 1977, as well as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, key provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act, and the underlying liability authority for Superfund. Billings and minority counsel Thomas C. Jorling crafted the unprecedented changes in Federal laws that make these environmental statutes continue to be unique 50 years after their enactment.
Billings served as the environment advisor to Senator Edmund S. Muskie, and continued as Chief of Staff to Senator and Secretary of State Muskie. He served as Executive Director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in the 1982 cycle, and was elected to the Maryland Legislature, where he served from 1991 through 2002.
After he left Federal service, Billings created the Clean Air Trust and the Clean Air Trust Education Fund, served as President of the Edmund S. Muskie Foundation, managed a “Politics” program for the University of Southern California as an adjunct professor, and created the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.
Billings has lectured on environmental law and American politics for nearly 50 years at universities across America as well as a variety of other audiences. He has been a consultant to the National Democratic Institute’s programs in China, Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka. He is President of Leon G. Billings, LLC, which advises clients on environmental and conservation policy and politics.

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