Committee Leaders Respond to UARG Dissolving in the Face of Congressional Scrutiny
Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chair Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette (D-CO) issued the following statement today after the Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) announced it is disbanding. Last month the Committee leaders launched an investigation into UARG – a secretive front group funded by coal-burning utility companies and housed at Hunton Andrews Kurth and devoted to rolling back Clean Air Act regulations.
“UARG was little more than a clandestine movement to undermine clean air protections to the benefit of industry and the detriment of the American people. We’re glad to see this group disband, and pleased to know there will be one fewer secretive industry group out there fighting to undo the progress we’ve made toward cleaner, healthier air,” said Pallone, Tonko and DeGette. “However, our Committee’s investigation is not over. Important questions remain about whether EPA officials William Wehrum and David Harlow continue to advance their former coal industry clients’ agenda at EPA, and we intend to see those questions through.”
Core to the Committee’s investigation is learning whether William Wehrum and David Harlow – who formerly represented UARG as Hunton attorneys – continue to illicitly serve their old client’s agenda in their new capacities at EPA. Wehrum currently serves as the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, while Harlow serves as the Office of Air and Radiation’s Senior Counsel.