"Industry Witnesses' Dominance of Hill Climate Hearings Irks Consumer Advocates"

"Energy industry officials have dominated witness tables at hearings on climate legislation, appearing more often than representatives of any other groups invested in energy policy, according to a new analysis."

A total of 33 people from a spectrum of energy companies and interests have appeared at three hearings before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and two before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. There were 25 witnesses from schools or think tanks, 25 from government, 15 from non-energy companies and 13 from environmental groups, according to the tally (pdf) from a consumer and environmental coalition.

Consumer groups had two witnesses, said the alliance of groups, which wants consumers to have a louder voice in how new climate and energy policy is formulated. The coalition includes AARP, Consumer Federation of America, National Consumer Law Center, Public Citizen, Chesapeake Climate Action Network and several others. It does not have a formal name.

The alliance that issued the witness tally wants climate legislation, but it said that the current bill from Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) does not pick the best option for ensuring that a carbon cap does not pinch consumers."

Anne C. Mulkern reports for Greenwire November 12, 2009.

Friday, November 13, 2009