Patrick Quinn is a lobbyist with the Accord Group, which he joined in 1998. Quinn had previously worked for the Environmental Protection Agency as Associate Administrator for Congressional Affairs from 1986-1992. He also is a former employee of the National Trade Association, has experience as a Senate assistant and as an executive assistant in the Department of Agriculture.
Quinn is one of many lobbyists working for the coal industry fighting against the effort to classify coal ash as hazardous. Coal ash contains known neurotoxins, carcinogens, and radioactive elements. On November 4, 2009, Quinn met with officials from the Environmental Protection Agency and White House Office of Management and Budget to discourage a “hazardous” classification of coal ash, on behalf of Southern Company, Duke Energy and WE Energies, a subsidiary of major utility Wisconsin Energy. Also present were several fellow industry lobbyists, including John Pemberton and Bill Tyndall.
Through the Accord Group, Quinn has been a lobbyist for Duke Energy since 2003, and for WE Energies for the last decade. Duke and WE have paid the Accord Group $650,000 and $440,000 respectively since 2005. Quinn’s past clients include American Electric Power, BP, Cinergy (now a Duke subsidiary), Allegheny, and DuPont.
In 2010, Quinn has fought against EPA and Council on Environmental Quality air quality regulation efforts on behalf of Duke and WE (see lobbying disclosure reports). Quinn also recently took on Southern Company as a client. Southern Co. paid Quinn’s firm $22,500 to fight regulation of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions (from coal combustion) through EPA authority in the Clean Air Act, the Clean Air Interstate Rule and the Air Transport rule.
On behalf of the Accord Group, Quinn has made campaign donations to prominent Republican candidates known to oppose environmental regulations, such as George W. Bush and John Dingell.
Patrick Quinn was the point man in a 2009 letter to the EPA to include more vested industry players in a study of the cancer risks associated with inorganic arsenic, which could tighten future regulation (the EPA would like to eventually reduce arsenic ingestion levels to zero). Among those Quinn represented were the American Coal Ash Association, the Edison Electric Institute (a major electric utility alliance), and the National Mining Association. All three of these trade groups have members that produce coal ash, which contains high concentrations of arsenic. Major coal utility polluters including American Electric Power, Southern Co, Duke, AES, Mirant, Ameren, Progress, WE Energies and Xcel all hold membership in both ACAA and EEI. While NMA doesn’t publicly list its membership, it is recognized as a major industry trade group opposed to coal ash regulation and other environmental initiatives. Quinn has also worked through wood preservative interests to delay arsenic studies and regulation.