Obama’s Smog Decision Backed by Big Business Donors

"President Obama’s decision early this month to side with anti-regulation business interests against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop a plan to tighten smog regulations comes during an election cycle in which Obama has received campaign donations from top polluters, and only weeks after his chief of staff met with anti-regulation industry trade associations.

According to The Hill, on August 15, White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley met with the heads of several business groups with a history of spending big bucks on legislative outcomes: the American Chemistry Council, American Petroleum Institute, the Business Roundtable, National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Since July 2009, the five trade groups collectively gave over $215 million to the major parties, political action committees and candidates, and 60 percent of lobbyists hired by the groups have worked in a federal agency or Congress, according to Open Secrets.

Meanwhile, Obama for America, the president’s reelection group, received money from a range of heavy polluters, according to his July quarterly campaign disclosure. Of the top twenty air polluters, according to the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, seven donated to the campaign."

Yana Kunichoff reports for the Washington Independent September 20, 2011.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011