Looking at lobbying
Looking at lobbying
By Jake Thomas, Resource Recycling
During the third quarter of 2011, the recycling industry paid the big bucks to influence the nation's halls of power.
For the penultimate quarter of 2011, the Glass Packaging Institute paid $30,000 to Pace, LLP, the same lobbying firm it hired last quarter  for the same amount, to continue its work seeking to sway Congress on many of the same issues, including legislation on recycling, appropriations, greenhouse gas emission regulations and extended producer responsibility. This quarter, the GPI sought to influence lawmakers on a trio of bills that would lower taxes for beer brewers.
The Aluminum Association spent $20,000 on lobbying firm Nutter & Harris, Inc. to try to persuade Congress on the same issues as last quarter, including energy, climate change and foreign trade.
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. paid $110,000 to the Podesta Group, Inc. looking to influence Congress and the White House's Council on Environmental Quality on electronics and plastic recycling, reauthorization of the Toxic Substance Control Act, as well as issues with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Additionally, the association continued to lobby Congress on the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act , which it has expressed reservations about.
The National Solid Wastes Management Association paid $10,000 to lobbyist Richard Goodstein for work on essentially the same issues from the previous quarter, which included "electronics waste," according to disclosure filings, as well as "interstate waste legislation," regulations of solid waste transfer stations and motor vehicle legislation.
Republic Services hired Blank Rome Government Relations for $50,000 for the third quarter of 2011 to try to influence Congress and the Department of Energy on "[i]ssues related to waste management, superfund sites, climate change legislation and natural gas tax incentives."
Waste Management spent $220,000 during the third quarter, including paying $30,000 to lobbyist James Boland for work on influencing lawmakers on "provisions relating to natural gas vehicle incentives" as well as legislation that would ease U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules on the use of coal combustion residuals as recycled materials. Additionally, Waste Management spent another $80,000 to Gephardt Group Government Affairs on the coal residuals issue. The Houston-based company also hired Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld to lobby the Senate, for less than $5,000, on the approval of the Kettleman Hills landfill expansion in California. A litany of tax issues was also on Waste Management's radar, as it spent $30,000 on Bracewell & Giuliani, LLP to lobby Congress on cell phone taxes, "bonus depreciation" and other issues.
Covanta Energy Corporation spent $170,000 on lobbying activities during the third quarter of 2011. During this time period it paid $40,000 to F/S Capitol Consulting, LLC and $120,000 to Dickstein Shapiro LLP to lobby Congress on wide range of legislation in hopes of driving the inclusion of waste-to-energy in municipal solid waste and renewable energy programs.
The Consumer Electronics Association spent $760,000 on lobbying activities, and hired several lobbying firms during the third quarter, on issues including the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act, trade policy, patent reform and others.
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