Kimberly Blough 6:28 p.m., March 9
Sempra spends big, lobbies Rand Paul's anti-regulation bill
San Diego-based utility giant lists Kentucky GOP senator's "Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act" as a top lobbying topic, employs ex-Feinstein aide as lobbyist for Mexico wind farm
Federal lobbying disclosure reports for the first quarter of this year posted online by the U.S. Congress reveal that lobbyists for San Diego's Sempra Energy have been busy as usual in Washington, D.C., tackling a host of controversial issues, many relating to environmental and liquid natural gas export regulations.
At the top of the list, according to the filing, were amendments to a congressional budget resolution "to limit the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions" and "to change EPA rules implementing the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard."
In addtion, Sempra representatives Sean MacKay and Tim Ransdell are listed as lobbying regarding "all aspects" of the "Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act," or REINS, for short.
Says a description of the proposal on the website of its senate sponsor, GOP Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky:
This legislation would require Congress to approve every new major rule proposed by the Executive Branch, which has an annual economic impact of $100 million or more, before it can be enforced on the American people.
S. 299 would allow for Congress to regain their constitutional authority by limiting the size and scope of rule-making powers, without oversight, by the Executive Branch.
Other pending legislation listed as being of concern to the gas and electric company, which is working on a big plan to export U. S. liquid natural gas abroad: "a bill to improve consideration by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission of the costs and benefits of its regulations and orders"; "Expedited LNG for American Allies Act of 2013"; and the "Keep American Natural Gas Here Act."
Sempra's tab for its first quarter lobbying efforts was $430,000, according to the disclosure.
In addition to its in-house crew of influence peddlers, Sempra paid $30,000 to the firm of Kadesh & Associates, LLC to lobby about "Issues related to energy, climate change & renewable energy" and "Issues related to the ESJ Wind Project."
The latter, Energia Sierra Juarez, is a proposed electrical generating project with 52 wind turbines just south of the Mexican border about 70 miles east of San Diego.
Last year East County environmentalists sued the Departments of Energy and Interior over alleged damage a power line from the project would do.
Lobbyist Mark Kadesh was formerly chief of staff to Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein.
More like this:
- San Diego State University lobbyists contributed to Peters — July 17, 2013
- No conflicts of interest in hiring D.C. lobbyist, San Diego development honcho says — June 13, 2013
- Recipients of half of Sempra non-profit cash unidentified in disclosure — June 6, 2013
- California sues Manchester's firm; reports show Navy complex push by fired city lobbyist — Jan. 26, 2013
- Palin Email Reveals Sempra Energy Pipeline Scheme — June 10, 2011