The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Big payoff for the dirty-air guys

Sep 8, 2003

EPA (Environmental Protection Administration) officials announced at the end of August that they were gutting the clean air rules for old, obsolete power plants. Plants that were required under law to upgrade to the latest anti-pollution technology now won't have to.

Only a few days later, two of the EPA's movers and shakers who pushed this polluters' dream were rewarded. John Pemberton, chief of staff of EPA's air and radiation office, quit EPA for a job as "director of federal affairs" with Southern Company. Southern is the nation's No. 2 power-plant polluter.

Likewise, Ed Krenik, EPA's associate administrator for congressional affairs, left EPA for a post with Bracewell & Patterson, a big law firm that for the past two years coordinated power-plant polluters' lobbying.

The utility companies evidently believe in the old saying: "You get what you pay for."