K Street Files: Capito Backs Marketing Tour for Coal
A monthlong traveling road show sponsored by the coal industry will make a stop on Capitol Hill this week. The national marketing tour ‘ titled ‘Clean Coal Technology. It Works.’ ‘ is sponsored by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity and arrives Thursday on the National Mall.
The office of Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) is coordinating the event with the industry group. In an interview Monday, the co-founder of the Congressional Coal Caucus agreed the messy black lumps have a public relations problem ‘ an education gap that she said the coalition’s tour may help in bridging.
‘I think there are segments and populations of this country who resoundingly reject coal in any form or fashion,’ she said. ‘Educating folks on the progress that’s being made in clean-coal technology and the carbon capture and sequestration is exceedingly important.’
According to its website, the coalition is supported by railroad firms, heavy equipment makers and utility companies, including Ameren, BNSF Railway Co., Caterpillar, CSX Corp., General Electric Co., Southern Co., Peabody Energy and Union Pacific.
The group’s mobile classrooms are to be parked near the Botanic Garden on Maryland Avenue Southwest from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. And you can count on at least one Member ‘ Capito ‘ schlepping down the Capitol’s West Front to the vehicles, whose interiors are decked out with iPads, flat-screen televisions and other modern devices that make the case for an energy source whose critics call it anything but futuristic.
The No-Name Coalition
A bipartisan coalition of lobbyists and anti-K Street advocates has banded together to announce a truce on earmark reforms.
The coalition includes Holland & Knight’s Rich Gold; Dave Wenhold of Miller/Wenhold Capitol Strategies; K&L Gates’ Manny Rouvelas and James Walsh; Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington; Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste; Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense; and Public Citizen’s Craig Holman.
‘We have never agreed upon anything else,’ Holman said of the group, which ‘couldn’t even agree upon a name.’
The coalition’s proposal includes a ban on some campaign contributions from lobbyists or executives of entities in negotiations for specific earmarks. It’s modeled on pay-to-play rules in New Jersey.
Holman said the effort was ‘quite confidential’ at first. The outside advocates have also met with the staffs of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate leaders from both sides of the aisle.
‘It surprised me that this group has been able to work together,’ Holman said. ‘We have amicable meetings. The diversity is a great virtue here.’
The coalition will unveil more details today during a conference call. In a statement, the group said its agreement would ‘reduce the influence of special interests and save Americans money.’
A Pair of Clients
The firm Husch Blackwell may have hit a jackpot in signing on the Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Equinox Health Solutions Inc. as lobbying clients.
The Sin City hotel and casino operator hired the firm to monitor legislative issues related to Internet gambling, according to a public disclosure filed with Congress. The firm’s Adam Sachs is the lobbyist of record for both clients.
For Equinox, Sachs will ‘educate Members of Congress regarding new developments in volumetric imaging technology to assist with the diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) among active duty and retired members of the military,’ a lobbying disclosure form states.
Kate Ackley contributed to this report.
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