Seven major industries strongly critical of the Clean Air contributed a total of more than $1 million to the 35 members of Congress who will rewrite that act this year, according to Common Cause.
In addition, half of the money came from corporations with plants in violation of Clean Air Act regulations, the organization said in a report released late last week.
Common Cause, a self-styled citizens' lobby, tallied contributions to the members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the House Energy subcommittee on health and the environment. The donations came from political action committees of labor and environmental groups and the seven industries: autos, chemicals, forest products, metals and mining, oil and gas, steel and public utilities.
The two chairmen, Sen. Robert T. Stafford (R-Vt.) and Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), were among the lowest recipients, with $5,700 and $900 respectively from the industries.The study said: "Both have records on long-time support for environmental legislation."
Tops on the list were three senators serving their first terms: James Abdnor (R-S.D.), who received $185,239; Steven D. Symms (R-Idaho) with $183,155; and Frank H. Murkowski (R-Alaska) at $93,469. Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr. (R-Tenn.) was fourth with $85,855. Last of the 15 senators was Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), who got $5,150.
On the House side, freshman Rep. Cleve Benedict (R-W.Va.) was the mose favored of the 20 members counted, receiving $51,006. He was followed by Reps. Phil Gramm (D-Tex.) at $48,750 and Richard C. Shelby (D-Ala.) at $38,700. Last on the House side was Rep. Toby Moffett (D-Conn.), a strong environmentalist, who received $250.
The National Automobile Dealers Association contributed a total of $113,500 to 25 committee members. Dow chemical Co.'s $30,800 total to 16 committee members was the largest single corporate tally, the study said. It noted that firms in violation of the Clean Air Act made 98 percent of the steel industry contributions, 91 percent of the forest products industry offerings and 82 percent of the chemical industry contributions.
By contrast, five environmental groups contributed a toal of $4,135 to Rep. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and $3.939 to Sen. Gary Hart (D-Colo.). They were the only two members of the committees to get any environmental funding.