Cheney aide now lobbyist on energy
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In all, The Lundquist Group reported receiving about $330,000 in lobbying income in 2003. The figures are rounded to the nearest $20,000 or listed as ''less than $10,000," so precise amounts are not available.
Lundquist was one of an army of lobbyists and could not claim sole credit for items that made their way into energy legislation or federal regulations, but his clients fared well, according to a Globe review of their legislative agendas.
The state of Alaska won a legislative battle to run a natural-gas pipeline from Prudhoe Bay in the north down to the Alaskan-Yukon border, and secured a commitment of federal loan guarantees worth $2 billion. The energy bill specifically prohibits running the pipeline west-east through Canada, a shorter route that investors say would also be cheaper.
For Duke Energy and Real Energy, Lundquist's reports state that he was lobbying on the Public Utilities Holding Company Act of 1935, a statute that restricts the kind of investments utilities can make. Power companies have been fighting for years to get the law repealed, and the energy package does just that.
But some consumer advocates insist the law is needed to avoid huge energy monopolies and to keep the flow of energy secure.
''The only thing between us and an oil, electric, and natural gas cartel is PUHCA," said Lynn Hargis, a former energy industry lawyer who now works for Public Citizen, a consumer group.
The industry contends the law, which also includes a host of other regulations and controls, actually damages the reliability of the energy supply by limiting investment.
''It's long been viewed as a fairly antiquated and unnecessary statute that has outlived its usefulness," said Peter Sheffield, a spokesman for Duke Energy.
Lundquist represented both TXU Corp. and Kennecott Energy on mercury emissions issues, according to the lobbying records. Both the administration's ''Clear Skies Initiative," which is languishing on Capitol Hill, and pending EPA regulations would weaken a negotiated agreement on the emission of mercury, a pollutant found to cause fetal damage and other health problems, and delay the compliance deadline for rules controlling mercury pollution.
Coal and power companies want the rules eased because of the cost of cleaning up sites that are saturated with mercury. In the highly competitive electricity market, an easing of the cleanup rules would boost the entire coal industry.
''As a coal company, the power plants are our business; that is 99.5 percent of our business. It was strategically very important to us," said Patricia Britton, a Kennecott vice president, in explaining the company's interest in power plant emission rules.
Ion America did not respond to Globe inquiries, but Lundquist's lobbying report lists renewable energy funding and fuel cell/hydrogen funding among topics on which he lobbied. The pending Senate energy bill would provide $2.1 billion to develop hydrogen fuel-powered cars.
Toshiba paid Lundquist $80,000 in 2003 to lobby on nuclear issues, as well as to ''promote advanced nuclear reactor approval & construction," his filings show.
Toshiba, a leader in Japan's nuclear power industry, hopes to build a small, new-technology reactor in Galena, Alaska, said Doug Rosinski, a Washington, D.C., attorney representing the Alaska town of 700.
While the reactor is not mentioned in the energy legislation, Toshiba would benefit from provisions in the bill to extend liability protection to new plants.
Further, Lundquist's extensive Alaska connections would be helpful to Toshiba in its efforts to gain support for its reactor, said staffers on Capitol Hill. Efforts to reach Toshiba in Tokyo and New York were unsuccessful.
Lundquist also lobbied for British Petroleum on the Alaska natural gas pipeline. BP, which is involved in oil production in Alaska, has natural gas sitting on top of its oil reserves that could be sold if it could be transported, said Anna Aurilio, legislative director for the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group, or Masspirg.
Aurilio said she finds the revolving door between policy making and lobbying deeply unfair.
''The bottom line is he represented the interests of the White House, and now he's representing their interests outside the White House," she said.
Stuart Gilman, president of the Ethics Resource Center, a nonprofit research group, and a former senior official at the US Office of Government Ethics, said the Lundquist case raises concern about appearances, regardless of the legality.
''I think you always, as a public official, need to worry about the appearance," he said. ''Being insensitive to that ultimately leads to a great deal of cynicism on the part of citizens."
Marc Shechtman of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
© Copyright 2004 Globe Newspaper Company.