Big Chem Seeks to Block Climate Regulation

Another shady industry group has set its sights on the Obama Administration’s environmental agenda, boldly protecting its profits at the expense of people and the planet.

The newly formed and until now unknown Coalition for Responsible Regulation (read: no regulation!) is the lead petitioner on a legal challenge seeking to block the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.

According to the UK Guardian, CRR does not have a website, will not release its full member list, and has joined a variety of other industry groups on 17 legal challenges to the EPA’s authority to regulate emissions of climate change-causing pollutants. CRR was formed on November 10th, the day after the EPA issued its finding that GHG emissions endanger human health and welfare, and filed its legal challenge in December.

One thing that is known about CRR is that the group is in some way connected to a European chemical company named Solvay. So it looks like Big Chem is joining Big Oil and Big Coal in their fight to condemn all of us to runaway climate change. When Big Polluters are this unanimous in their opposition to an environmental regulation, you know you’re probably on to something that will really make a difference. And when they’re this careful to hide behind front groups — American Petroleum Institute, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, I’m looking at you — you know they’re aware of how deeply unpopular their backwards views on global warming are.

Sadly, there’s nothing new in CRR refusing to be up front about who they are and who is pitching in on their anti-environment activities. CRR joins a long list of polluting industry-types who prefer to secretly spend their millions to influence the public debate and stall climate action, most notably Exxon and Koch Industries.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I should add that I’ve done quite a bit of work to help expose Koch Industries for its funding of climate denial and opposition to clean energy legislation in my role at Greenpeace. We released the report “Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine” back in March.)

In a sign of just how afraid of open dialogue these secretive climate deniers are, Koch Industries immediately pulled its Facebook page down after several online activists went there to communicate their concerns directly to the company. This past weekend, Koch quietly put their page back up, minus all of the comments we left to try and tell the whole story to Koch Industries’ “fans” (or, ahem, “likers”). Here’s an Earth Day idea:  go to Koch Industries’ Facebook page and leave them a comment about how you disapprove of their secretive funding of climate denial.

As the situation with CRR develops, I’ll keep you posted, especially when an opportunity to push back on their profits-over-people agenda presents itself.

Image credit: baekken

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