In another explosive exposition of the natural gas industry, Ian Urbina of the New York Times documents how industry and elected officials kept EPA findings on the dangers of fracking from becoming public. One EPA scientist said "The industry was going to get what it wanted, and we were not supposed to stand in the way.”
A report by Public Citizen entitled EPA’s Smoke Screen details how Congress was given false information while campaign contributions and political connections gutted a key Clean Air rule. The Report mentions John Pemberton, a former EPA Chief of Staff who went to work for Southern Company just one week after his office ruled in favor of relaxing pollution controls on the energy company. The ruling effectively repealed the Clean Air Act's "new source review," which requires companies to install modern pollution control technologies in new plants and in old plants when they make modifications that significantly increase pollution.
John Pemberton, currently an influence peddler for Southern Company, was once a key player in utility regulation at the EPA. From 2001-2003 he served as chief of staff for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation where he helped manage the office’s efforts on several utility-related policy issues. A week after effectively repealing the Clean Air Act's "new source review" provision, which requires companies to install modern pollution control technologies in new plants and in old plants when they make modifications that significantly increase pollution, he resigned. He then joined Southern Company as a lobbyist, proving that there was a high level of collusion between Southern Company - one of the top five carbon emitters in the world - and influential members of EPA.
This kind of blatant revolving door politics can only be described as corruption.