Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the Government Oversight and Reform Committee, is taking heat after asking several different organizations for input when it comes to possible regulations coming from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Issa’s actions aren’t completely out of the norm for Washington politics these days, but the letter he sent out is still drawing attention, mainly because of the overwhelming number of industry and trade groups who received the letter. Already, a Mother Jones article has pointed out how Issa may have crossed the thin line that separates special interests in politicians who regulate them. “Interest groups looking to influence regulations is certainly not uncommon, nor is it outside of the norm here for lawmakers to solicit input from affected parties. But rarely is there such a clear call for regulated industries to set out a list of demands,” writes Kate Sheppard.
In all, more than 130 different organizations and individuals received Issa’s letter. Each and every one of them is listed on this post in The Hill. The usual suspects appeared on the list, Rex W, Tillerson of Exxon Mobile, James Gattuso, of the Heritage Foundation and the National Mining Association. "There was only one group on the list that I would solidly classify as a non-partisan organization specifically focused on energy and environment issues, which is Resources for the Future,” wrote Sheppard.
Other players inside the Beltway are also becoming more vocal when it comes congress’ actions on climate. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has weighed in on the EPA’s moves to regulate carbon emissions outside of congresses authority. “The Chamber will support appropriate bipartisan legislation to delay or stop the EPA and return the important climate change issue to the purview of the Congress,” said the organization’s president Tom Donahoe.
All in all it appears may trade and industry groups have plenty to say when it comes regulation inside the Beltway. Luckily, for them, it appears one politician, Darrell Issa, is happy to listen. Or better yet, read what’s on their minds.