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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cheney coal plan gets $1B boost ... from Obama

My K Street column in Examiner today follows up on the largest earmark in history, and points out the entertaining fact Obama just directed a billion dollars at Big Coal's greatest prize from that Dick Cheney energy task force Obama spent the campaign season attacking. My column also looks at the lobbying effort behind this billion-dollar coal project called FutureGen:

In 2004, the Energy Department named former lobbyist Mark Maddox assistant secretary of fossil energy and assigned him to promote FutureGen to Congress, to companies and even to China.

But in early 2008, the Bush administration reversed course and pulled funding for the project, arguing there were better ways to test these technologies. Critics charged that Bush was angry Illinois had been chosen over Texas as the site for the FutureGen plant.

By the time the Senate took up Obama’s stimulus this year, that same Maddox was collecting a check from coalition member Anglo American, a mining and natural resource giant, lobbying to restore federal funding to FutureGen. Maddox was part of a lobbying blitzkrieg by the FutureGen coalition, its member companies and the state of Illinois
Read the whole thing here.

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