Stop the Dirty Air Act!

by Mike Gaworecki

January 19, 2010

Last week it was revealed that Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska worked with big polluter lobbyists to draft the Dirty Air Act — a.k.a. the Murkowski amendment — which would strip the EPA’s authority to regulate global warming pollution from stationary sources like coal plants, oil refineries, and factories, authority granted to the agency by the Clean Air Act. This move to protect the profits of polluting industries instead of the planet is unaccpetable, and we are asking everyone to write to their Senator now to urge them to vote against Murkowski’s big polluter amendment.

Take action NOW to stop the gutting of the Clean Air ActMurkowski’s spokesman, Robert Dillon, is now claiming that they have secured a Democratic cosponsor for the Dirty Air Act. Kate Sheppard, an investigative reporter from Mother Jones, speculated that five Democrats were the most likely to have partnered with Murkowski on the amendment.

All of these Democrats have a history of taking polluter campaign cash, so today we sent a letter to each of them asking them to make it clear where they stand. We also released a report detailing the campaign contributions that these five Democratic Senators have taken from the lobbying clients of Jeffrey Holmstead and Roger Martella, the DC influence-peddlers accused of funneling campaign cash to Senator Murkowski at the same time that they were pushing and helping write the Dirty Air Act.

  • Mary Landrieu of Louisiana (letter PDF)
    Since 1997, Senator Mary Landrieu has directly received $152,668 from these two lobbyists, their firms, their climate legislation clients, their PACs and employees.
  • Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas (letter PDF)
    Since 1997, Senator Blanche Lincoln, who is the Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee and has jurisdiction over clean energy legislation moving through the Senate, has directly received $139,766 from these two lobbyists, their firms, their climate legislation clients, their PACs and employees.
  • Jim Webb of Virginia (letter PDF)
    Since 2005, Senator Jim Webb has directly received $25,700 from these two lobbyists, their firms, their climate legislation clients, their PACs and employees.
  • Byron Dorgan of North Dakota (letter PDF)
    Since 1997, Senator Byron Dorgan has directly received $119,446 from these two lobbyists, their firms, their climate legislation clients, their PACs and employees.
  • Ben Nelson of Nebraska (letter PDF)
    Since 1997, Senator Ben Nelson has directly received $65,770 from these two lobbyists, their firms, their climate legislation clients, their PACs and employees.

All told, these five Senators have directly received $503,350 from these two lobbyists, their firms, their climate legislation clients, their PACs and employees, since 1997. Read the full report here.

We can’t let polluter lobbyists and their allies in Congress gut the Clean Air Act. Take action now to tell your Senator to vote NO on the Murkowski amendment.

*Note: All data for this report comes from FEC records obtained by www.opensecrets.org. Contributions received from Jeffrey Holmstead, Roger Martella, the PACs and employees of Bracewell Giuliani, Sidley Austin, the National Alliance of Forest Owners, the Alliance of Food Associations, the Ameren Corporation, Arch Coal, CSX Corporation, Duke Energy, Edison Electric, the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, Energy Future Holdings, Mirant Corporation, the Portland Cement Association, Progress Energy, the Salt River Project, and Southern Company were all included in this report.

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