"When the Department of Homeland Security wants advice on how to guard against terrorist attacks at chemical plants, it relies heavily on a special agency panel focused on the topic.
There's just one problem, critics say: The committee is stacked with more than a dozen chemical corporation lobbyists and other industry representatives, who have worked to water down agency standards and oppose tougher security requirements.
The Chemical Sector Committee, which also includes government officials, does most of its business in secret and is not covered by White House ethics rules aimed at curbing the influence of lobbyists in government.
'These are the same people that are lobbying on the Hill to kill stronger regulations,' said Rick Hind, legislative director for the Greenpeace Toxics Campaign, which has asked DHS to broaden the committee's membership. 'It's a very monopolistic lobbying opportunity.'"