Bush’s OIRA Appointee Graham Could Lend Clout to Plastics

Plastics News, May 7, 2001
Steve Toloken, Plastics News Staff

John Graham, Director of the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, has been nominated to head the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). As OIRA Administrator, Dr. Graham would oversee the development of all federal regulations and would help shape federal regulatory policy.

The following are excerpts from Plastics News, a plastics industry trade publication.

"One of the Bush administration’s more obscure political appointments [John Graham] is shaping up to be one of the most important for the plastics industry."

"The [Harvard] center’s donor list reads like a Who’s Who of the chemical industry, albeit not updated to reflect recent mergers: the American Chemistry Council, the Chlorine Chemistry Council, Dow Chemical Co., DuPont, Geon Co., Amoco Corp., Exxon Corp., Mobil Corp., Millennium Chemicals Inc., Lyondell Chemical Co., Eastman Chemical Co. and Union Carbide Corp., among others. Earnest Deavenport, Eastman’s chairman and chief executive officer, sits on the group’s executive council, along with the president of the National Association of Manufacturers."

"The center has done special projects for the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., has done work on dioxin issues and is finishing up a two-year, $500,000 study on styrene’s health effects for the Styrene Information and Research Center in Arlington, Va."

"Graham is very well thought of by industry."

"I think John Graham is one of the brightest and most incisive people in the country on regulatory matters," said Lewis Freeman, former chief federal lobbyist for SPI and now a government affairs consultant."

"They have a big stick if the president in office allows them to use it, and if they have someone in that office who knows how to use it," Freeman said.