Industry Deploys Donations, Lobbying as Coal Issues Gain Prominence

"As legislation to limit U.S. EPA's power to regulate coal ash hits the House floor this week, environmental advocates see industry footprints all over the bill's language. They say millions of dollars spent in lobbying and campaign contributions have yielded another congressional proposal to block Obama administration environmental oversight -- and have allowed the industry to frame the debate."

"'I think they have succeeded in turning the issue into a fight over recycling, whether recycling is good or bad,' said Eric Schaeffer, director of the Environmental Integrity Project, in an interview. 'Part of that is weight of money and numbers.'

Environmentalists largely dismiss concerns that a hazardous designation for coal ash, one of EPA's proposals, would kill recycling efforts. Industry advocates say even the prospect of the label is already having an effect. As with other proposals, they say EPA is going too far with coal ash.

'I think the coal-fired sector is justifiably highly concerned about the rate, timing and content of EPA regulations,' Scott Segal, an attorney at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, said in an interview."

Manuel Quinones reports for Greenwire October 13, 2011.

Source: Greenwire, 10/14/2011