‘Socially Promoted’ Air Polluters
Now Run the U.S. Government
New EPA Head Reports $500,000 Invested in Texas’ ‘Grandfathered’ Polluters.
As the Texas Lege frets over how to redress ex-Governor Bush’s failure to rein in “grandfathered” air polluters, President Bush rewards failure, socially promoting executives of grandfathered-polluter companies to run his government.
At least 13 high-level Bush appointees recently worked for companies that for decades have exploited Texas’ “grandfather” loophole to pollute Texas skies for decades, according to data compiled for a forthcoming Multinational Monitor article on corporate executives in Bush’s cabinet (www.essential.org/monitor/).
The former employers of these 13 appointees released 232,292 tons of grandfathered air pollution in 1997, or 26 percent of all such emissions.
A loophole in the 1971 Texas Clean Air Act exempted then-existing industrial plants from new pollution-control rules. With these “grandfathered” plants still polluting 27 years later, then-Governor Bush asked polluters to formulate his response to their filth.
The polluters—who had had three decades to voluntarily clean up their acts—devised a voluntary clean-up plan. Last year, the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission found that no major polluters significantly reduced emissions under this failed program.
The program was designed to fail because it did not require volunteers to quantify what emissions they would cut—or to commit themselves to deadlines.
After the filthiest grandfathered plant volunteered in 1999, Lobby Watch called the Alcoa Rockdale facility. A spokesman said that Alcoa could not specify its emission-reduction goals or provide a compliance deadline. (see “Grandpa Polluters Take Baby Steps,” May 20, 1999).
Two short years later, Bush appointed Alcoa Chair and CEO Paul O’Neill Treasury Secretary of the United States.
O’Neill is not the only senior Bush appointee with major grandfather-polluter credentials. Until 2000, new Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta was a vice president of grandfathered polluter Lockheed Martin. His deputy secretary, Michael Jackson, also is an ex-Lockheed vice president.
Lockheed Martin previously employed three top Bush appointees as lobbyists. These hired guns are now: General Counsel David Aufhauser, Assistant Secretary of State Otto Reich and National Security Council Deputy Director Stephen Hadley.
Hadley’s boss is National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, who had a Chevron oil tanker named after her when she sat on that grandfathered polluter’s board.
The Commerce Department boasts two top appointees recently employed by major grandfathered polluters. Deputy Secretary Samuel Bodman is the former chair and CEO of Cabot Corp. Under Secretary for Economic Affairs Kathleen Cooper cut her teeth as chief economist at ExxonMobil.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick was a paid advisor to Enron Corp., a grandfathered polluter that also employed Army Secretary Thomas White as an executive.
Zoellick’s deputy trade representative, John Huntsman, was vice chair of Huntsman Corp., the grandfathered polluter that covered Odessa, Texas with toxic fumes in 1999. Francis Blake was a senior vice president at grandfathered polluter General Electric when Bush appointed him deputy energy secretary.
Finally, Bush’s top two environmental appointees approach their new jobs with various ties to grandfathered polluters.
At the time that Bush tapped her as EPA Administrator, Christine Todd Whitman held $500,000 worth of investments in the following grandfathered polluter interests: ExxonMobil ($150,228); Phillips Petroleum ($99,303); Lockheed Martin ($66,375); Alcoa ($36,783); Union Carbide ($34,063); DuPont ($28,987); Chevron ($16,887); and BP Amoco ($15,703). Whitman also has at least a $50,000 interest in grandfathered polluter Hunt Oil.
Interior Secretary Gale Norton has worked for two anti-environmental groups: James Watt’s Mountain States Legal Foundation and—more recently—the Coalition for Republican Environmental Advocates.
Grandfathered polluters that have funded one or the other of these groups include Amoco, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Phillips 66 and ARCO.•
Bush Appointees With
Appointee New Title Old Title Ex-Employer's Grandfathered
Emmissions (Tons in '97)
Paul H. O'Neill Treasury Secretary Alcoa Chair & CEO 104,304 Kathleen Cooper Commerce Under Sec. Econ. Afrs. ExxonMobil Chief Economist 64,921 Samuel Bodman Deputy Commerce Secretary Cabot Corp. Chair & CEO 54,052 Jon Huntsman Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Huntsman Corp. Vice-Chair 3,677 Thomas White Secretary of the Army Enron Executive 3,299 Robert Zoellick U.S. Trade Representative Enron Paid Advisor 3,299 Condoleezza Rice National Security Advisor Chevron Board Member 1,834 Francis S. Blake Energy Deputy Secretary General Electric Senior VP 65 Norman Mineta Secretary of Transportation Lockheed Martin VP 43 Michael Jackson Deputy Transportation Secretary Lockheed Martin VP 43 David Aufhauser General Counsel Lockheed Martin Lobbyist 43 Otto Reich Assistant Secretary of State Lockheed Martin Lobbyist 43 Stephen Hadley Dty Dir. National Security Council Lockheed Martin Lobbyist 43 TOTAL: 232,292
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