Archive for March 2nd, 2011

Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), chairman of the panel’s Energy and Power subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, agreed to schedule a hearing next Tuesday on two new studies that link climate change to severe weather at the request of Democrats.

Full committee ranking Democrat Henry Waxman (Calif.) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), who chairs the subcommittee, along with eight other Democrats, sent a letter to Whitfield Tuesday requesting a hearing on climate science, as the Republicans on the committee are moving legislation forward that would permanently block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

Whitfield reluctantly agreed to hold the hearing Tuesday after Waxman criticized Republicans for not allowing more testimony from scientists at yesterday’s hearing, which boasted a witness list dominated by industry groups, while Republicans on the panel expressed frustration that Whitfield agreed to hold the hearing at the Democrats’ request.

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Texans for Lots of Radiation bring attention to Harold Simmons' donations to Texans for Lawsuit Reform

Texans for Lots of Radiation (TLR too) brought attention to the record donations raised by Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR) PAC ($6.9 million in the 2010 election cycle) with help from its No. 1 donor: nuclear-waste kingpin Harold Simmons. To reduce the cost of negligently harming other people, the PAC took 12 cents of every dollar it raised from Simmons. Not coincidentally, this billionaire is imposing unprecedented liabilities on Texans by importing staggering volumes of toxic and radioactive waste into West Texas.

TLR too is an ad hoc coalition of concerned organizations that include Texans for Public Justice, Public Citizen and the Sustainable Energy and Econimic Development (SEED) Coaliton. 

Lobby Watch also finds that many of TLR’s biggest new donors are righteously litigious dudes.  Click here to read the Lobby Watch report on this PAC’s contributions and its biggest contributor.  You can also check out the TLR too website for more information. 

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The following post is a guest contribution by Citizen Richard of Audits in the Public Interest.

In late spring of 2010, Austin residents woke to the grand news their city had been selected as the host city for Formula One racing in the United States.  Amidst the hype, and not immediately noticed, was the price tag hanging off the back of their new community award: an invoice in the amount of $250,000,000 to Formula One World Championship, Ltd, for the sanctioning fee.

A 25 followed by seven zeros is one quarter of a billion dollars and this was not all: the City of Austin would be on the hook for another $40,000,000.  The incentive, from the Texas Major Events Trust Fund (METF), would supposedly be paid from increased retail taxes.  The METF is administered by the Comptroller of Public Accounts, Susan Combs.

An extensive review by Audits in the Public Interest reveals a different picture about Formula One. (more…)

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