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E-M:/ Mayor Archer named in revalations in "polluter war council"

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

Dennis Archer can't get the snow plowed, but he seems
to have no problems hobnobbing with national industrial polluters....

Archer named by "Polluter War Council" members as friend....


____________________Forward Header_____________________
Subject:    Polluter War Council
Author: fodonnel@ix.netcom.com (Frank O'Donnell)
Date:       1/21/99 4:30 PM



TO:             Reporters and editors covering the environment

FROM:           Frank O'Donnell

DATE:           January 22, 1999





        On January 21, 1999 at 10:30 a.m., lobbyists for some of the 
nation's biggest industrial polluters gathered at the Washington, D.C. 
headquarters of the Edison Electric Institute to celebrate, and to 

        The lobbyists, from trade associations representing the coal, 
electric power, oil, automobile, trucking and chemical industries, and 
such individual companies as General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Texaco, 
Chevron, Tenneco and Phillips Petroleum, were celebrating what they 
believed was a covert and successful effort to gut a U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency plan to protect and improve air quality in and near 
national parks.   They claimed success in part because they believe 
their low-key lobbying approach has kept the issue below EPA 
Administrator Carol Browner's radar screen. 

        During the hour-long meeting, the polluters noted that their 
"outreach effort" had focused on congressional Democrats -- including a 
letter-signing initiative that took place on the floor of the House of 
Representatives in the middle of the recent impeachment debate.  The 
lobbyists further identified black mayors -- including Detroit Mayor 
Dennis Archer -- and senior citizens as other potential allies in case 
they need to "continue some pressure" on this and other clean air 

        Flush with apparent success, the polluters also began to plot 
ways to relax the Clean Air Act and to undermine clean air health 

        It was a meeting of principals of an organization known as the 
"Air Quality Standards Coalition," a polluter alliance that reportedly 
had spent tens of millions of dollars in an unsuccessful effort to 
block new clean air standards for smog and soot in 1997.  The 
organization, which has rechristened itself the "Air Quality 
Coalition," believes it has been more successful in a recent -- and far 
more covert -- effort to gut the EPA park protection plan.

        The EPA plan, known as the "regional haze rule," was designed to 
gradually improve pollution-impaired visibility in and around national 
parks.  The EPA rule was proposed last year, but has been delayed -- in 
large part because of agitation whipped up by the polluters, who fear 
it might require them to clean up their emissions.   

        Here are some highlights of the polluter gathering:

        o       The lobbyists patted themselves on the back for waging a 
covert war against the EPA haze rule during the past six months.  "We 
want everyone to understand the Coalition has been working on this 
issue," said Michael Mason of Tenneco.  "We actually appear to be 
making significant progress."  Another lobbyist added that the low-key 
lobbying campaign has not attracted the notice of EPA Administrator 
Browner: "We don't want Browner to own this thing."  Said another: "The 
key is keeping it out of Carol Browner's bailiwick." 

        o       The polluters boasted that they had generated letters of 
opposition to the EPA rule from state governments and by specifically 
targeting Democratic members of the House of Representatives.  Since 
last July, the lobbyists initiated several letters by governors and at 
least four letters by House Democrats.   They identified Reps. Ted 
Strickland (D-OH) and Ron Klink (D- PA) as prominent representatives 
recruited to pressure EPA.  One lobbyist noted that Rep. Klink had 
actually used the recent impeachment debate as an opportunity to gather 
signatures on a letter drafted by the polluter coalition.  "For anyone 
who talks to Ron Klink," said the lobbyist, "Please thank him!"   

        o       Much of the "Democrat Outreach Strategy," noted one 
coalition member,  has been done by a D.C. lobbying firm, the Alpine 
Group, which is on a $7,500 monthly retainer to the Coalition.   

        o       The lobbyists noted that EPA is expected to send a final 
rule on the haze issue to the White House Office of Management and 
Budget on or about February 15.  "We're going to get the rule when it 
goes to OMB," noted one.  "If it's okay, then we'll tell the White 
House that.  But if not, EPA has been lying to us, saying the rule has 
been more flexible.  That's when we need riots in the streets!"  

        o       Black mayors were identified as potential allies in case 
additional pressure is needed.  "The mayors are meeting here in D.C. 
next week," noted Ronald G. Sykes, a consultant who represents General 
Motors.  "Dennis Archer might be one." 

        o       The Commerce Department was identified as another 
important ally if the final rule appears objectionable.  "We need to 
get some Democrats to knock on Commerce's door and deliver the 
message," noted one lobbyist.  

        o       As a safeguard, the lobbyists also discussed trying to 
convince Congress to block an objectionable final rule. "This might be 
the first opportunity to use the Congressional Review Act," said one. 

        o       Confident of success on the haze rule, the Coalition began 
to discuss longer- range plans to influence Congress and EPA.  One 
member noted he had met earlier in the day with a possible ally, the 
Alliance for Senior Citizens.   The seniors had wondered why there was 
still so much "bad news" about air pollution.  The Coalition agreed to 
gather information on how air quality has improved.     

        o       Coalition members agreed to stage a retreat in the near 
future -- and to invite "key Hill staff" -- to plot a specific "work 
plan" for the next several years.   A major target is the Clean Air 
Act.  "A  lot of people on the Hill are very appreciative of the help 
we've given them -- they want that help to continue," noted one 
lobbyist.  "They want us to identify problem areas in the Clean Air Act 
so they can develop a public record for changing the law."  Sen. James 
Inhofe (R-OK), chairman of the Senate Clean Air Subcommittee, was 
identified as a key. [Inhofe has said he will hold oversight hearings 
on the law this year.]  The lobbyists agreed to spend 
the next two years "laying the groundwork" for weakening the law. 

        o       The Coalition also targeted EPA's health standards for 
smog and soot.  The lobbyists discussed using various corporate 
foundations to underwrite research projects that could be used to 
undermine the current standards. "Some companies have foundations that 
can fund research," noted one lobbyist.  "It comes out of a different 
pile of money." 

        o       The lobbyists lamented that only $60,000 remains in the 
Coalition's war chest.  The Edison Electric Institute and Chemical 
Manufacturers Association quickly volunteered to provide a quick 
infusion of new cash.  General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler pledged 
to "give their fair share."  The Coalition noted it would put out a new 
letter to its members seeking "dues."

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com
Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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