Lobbyists Help Write Senator’s Amendment

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Further dispatches from the Fifth Branch of government provided by the Washington Post:

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is likely to postpone offering an amendment (pdf) next week that would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The maneuvering comes as The Washington Post has confirmed that two Washington lobbyists, Jeffrey R. Holmstead and Roger R. Martella, Jr., helped craft the original amendment Murkowski planned to offer on the floor last fall. Both Holmstead, who heads the Environmental Strategies Group and Bracewell & Guiliani, and Martella, a partner at Sidley Austin LLP, held senior posts at EPA under the Bush administration and represents multiple clients with an interest in climate legislation pending before Congress.

As reported in McClatchy, the lobbyists are very honest about the whole thing:

“This is what lawyers in Washington do every day of the week, is to take a look,” Holmstead said. “It happens all the time on almost every piece of legislation. Before language is introduced, it is almost always shared with people on all sides of the issue.”

All the more reason for even more transparency in the interaction of lobbyists with our elected officials.

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