Lucas declined a request to comment. But Jeffrey Connor, Emerson’s chief of staff, said that Lucas had not lobbied the congresswoman previously and that Emerson had not changed her position. “If you look at the congresswoman’s record on the health-care bill, she is extremely consistent in her opposition to it,” he said.
Michael Bloomquist, deputy general counsel for the Energy and Commerce Committee, lobbied last year on four bills that were before the panel, according to lobbying disclosures. Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) recently introduced a new version of one of those bills, which would delay new regulation of greenhouse gases by the Environmental Protection Agency. An energy subcommittee approved the measure last week.
Maryam Brown, the committee’s chief energy counsel and one of those who helped draft the legislation, was paid more than $270,000 as a ConocoPhillips lawyer in 2009 and 2010, according to House records. The company’s chief executive argued before the committee in 2010 against EPA regulation of greenhouse gases, saying it was the “wrong way” to deal with climate change.
Environmental advocates and others opposed to the legislation have pointed to some of Upton’s new committee staffers as a problem.
“Quite literally, the people from ConocoPhillips and all these other energy companies are now sitting at his desk and helping to write legislation that will have a direct impact on the bottom line of energy companies,” said Melinda Pierce, deputy director of national campaigns at the Sierra Club.
Bloomquist and Brown declined to comment, but committee spokeswoman Alexa Marrero said the panel “has a large, talented staff from a wide range of backgrounds, including individuals who have expertise on U.S. energy policy.” She said that Upton requires staff members to recuse themselves from issues that specifically affect a former employer but that Brown was not recused because “ConocoPhillips would not be affected differently than any other organization.”
Bloomquist, she said, has a “largely parliamentary role,” rather than a policymaking role.
Research editor Alice Crites contributed to this report.