Aug. 7, 2017

Portman Flees Tough Questions About Big Polluters Backing His Signature Anti-Regulatory Legislation

Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen

Note: U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) on Friday refused to answer a voter’s questions about his signature legislation, the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) (S. 951), which would paralyze our system of public protections. He also dismissed the voter’s suggestion that he should stop taking campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies. The exchange was caught on video.

The prospect of turning off the political spigot from big oil – from which he’s raised nearly a million dollars over his political career – evinces a chuckle from Senator Portman. But there’s nothing funny about his “License to Kill” legislation – the deceptively named Regulatory Accountability Act – which would impose a permanent blockage on government agencies charged with protecting the American public from predatory corporations.

The energy sector would love the escape from environmental, health and safety laws that Portman’s legislation would provide, which is why big polluters are doing more lobbying on behalf of Portman’s bill than nearly any other industry.