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McGavick Now Says His Superfund Lobby Job Was Really For The Environment

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 12:40 PM
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McGavick Now Says His Superfund Lobby Job Was Really For The Environment

WASHINGTON Democrats accuse Senate candidate Mike McGavick of being a friend of big oil and an enemy of the environment. But McGavick says his role in the fierce 1994 congressional battle over the Superfund toxic-cleanup program shows his interest in protecting the environment and holding polluters accountable.

At the time, McGavick was the point man on the Superfund issue for the insurance industry's lobby, the American Insurance Association (AIA). He ran the AIA's Superfund Improvement Project, which he says supported the program established by Congress to clean up the country's most polluted industrial sites. McGavick also proposed changes to the law aimed at saving the insurance industry millions, if not billions, in litigation costs, through a special trust fund. "It was different from ideas from others in the insurance industry and among many Republicans who wanted to get people off the hook, " he said.


Not everyone agrees that McGavick had the environment foremost in mind during the Superfund negotiations. "Mike McGavick worked alongside the strongest opponents of the 'polluter-paid' program," which industry wanted to gut, said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who was involved in the 1994 debate. She dismissed McGavick's description of his role as someone trying to save the cleanup program. "You can dress up a pig in a new outfit from Nordstrom's, but it's still a pig," Boxer said.

The polluter-paid provision, also called retroactive liability, required that companies pay to clean up pollution they helped cause before 1980, the year the Superfund was created. McGavick testified several times against the provision. "Nothing can be more maddening, nor is more unfair, than to make people pay enormous sums today for the legal and often government-directed handling of waste years ago," he told the House Energy and Commerce Committee in 1994.

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