"The House Energy and Commerce Committee launched an investigation Thursday into whether the Environmental Protection Agency’s air policy chief and his deputy have improperly aided their former industry clients since joining the administration.
Three of the panel’s top Democrats — Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (N.J.) and two subcommittee chairs, Paul D. Tonko (N.Y.) and Diana DeGette (Colo.) — sent nine separate letters to businesses affiliated with Bill Wehrum, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, and with the office’s senior counsel, David Harlow. Both men worked at the law firm Hunton & Williams, now Hunton Andrews Kurth, and represented several power plant operators that EPA regulates.
Citing news reports in The Washington Post and other outlets, the lawmakers are demanding new details about the Utility Air Regulatory Group, an umbrella organization that Wehrum had represented and that is funded by several companies opposed to stricter limits on pollutants from coal-fired plants. Under Wehrum’s tenure, the EPA has sought to loosen federal restrictions on coal plants’ emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants."