Foundation for Environmental and Economic Progress

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The Foundation for Environmental and Economic Progress (FEEP) describes its goal as "to balance environmental and economic concerns as they affect the development of master planned communities as well as more traditional uses of land including agricultural and forestry uses." [1]

The 501(c)(6) organization [2] was formed in 1989, by "a number of U.S. companies with major land holdings" that wanted to promote the idea that "environmental protection needn't be hostile to economic development," according to a web message from FEEP president Karrin Kunasek Taylor [3], who works at DMB Associates, "an Arizona-based, diversified real estate company" that develops projects including "resort/recreational and primary home communities, country clubs, health clubs and spas located in Arizona, California, Hawaii and Utah." [4]

Lobbying

FEEP reports Hunton & Williams lawyer Virginia S. Albrecht as its Director of Government Affairs and General Counsel, with the Hunton & Williams as its outside lobbying firm, with Albrect and Deidre G. Duncan working on the account. [5]

FEEP paid Hunton & Williams $230,000 for lobbying in 2008, and $240,000 in 2007. It spent less on lobbying in previous years, but paid the firm more than $100,000 to lobby each year, from 1998 to 2000. In 2008, FEEP lobbyists contacted the White House Council on Environmental Quality, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Environmental Protection Agency, and Army Corps of Engineers. [6]

Funding Congressional travel

In October 2006, FEEP paid $3000, to fund trips for Katherine English and Alex Herrgott, two staffers in the office of U.S. Senator James Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, who at the time chaired the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. [7]

Julie MacDonald

In January 2004, Julie A. MacDonald traveled to Arizona to speak at FEEP's annual meeting about "endangered species and wetlands law and policy." [8]

MacDonald was a U.S. Department of the Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary who oversaw the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's endangered species program, until resigning in May 2007. She resigned while being investigated for conflicts of interest, after being "rebuked for altering scientific conclusions to reduce protections for endangered species and providing internal documents to lobbyists." [9]

Legal actions

Clean Water Act and Maine dams

In November 2005, Hunton & Williams lawyers filed a "friend of the court" (amici curiae) brief, on behalf of FEEP and the National Association of Home Builders. The brief was filed in the U.S. Supreme Court case of S. D. Warren Co. v. Maine Board of Environmental Protection (547 U.S. 370, 2006), in support of the S. D. Warren Company. The company, which operates hydroelectric dams in Maine, argued that the Clean Water Act did not require it to seek water quality certifications from the state government, when renewing its federal licenses with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The Supreme Court disagreed. Maine's Board of Environmental Protection had required the company to maintain a "minimum stream flow and to allow passage for certain fish and eels." [10]

The brief supported S. D. Warren Company, arguing that requiring the company to obtain water quality certifications from the Maine government "improperly expands the CWA," or Clean Water Act. The brief compared water passing through a dam to water "stirred by a spoon, pushed by an oar, or splashed by a hand," arguing that "such movements of water" should not trigger application of the Clean Water Act. [11]

Clean Water Act and wetlands

In December 2005, Hunton & Williams lawyers filed a friend of the court brief, on behalf of FEEP, the National Association of REALTORS, Utility Water Act Group (which includes the Edison Electric Institute, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, American Public Power Association, and Nuclear Energy Institute), and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with the U.S. Supreme Court. The brief was filed on the combined cases of Rapanos et al. v. United States and Carabell et al v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (04-1034 and 04-1384). The brief supported the petitioners, saying the Clean Water Act was meant "to regulate 'navigable waters'," and should only be extended to wetlands when they are "are inseparably bound up with and have a significant nexus to navigable waters." [12]

Affiliated / member companies

FEEP's lobbying disclosure form for the first quarter of 2008 lists the following as "affiliated organizations": [13]

Contact information

Website: http://feeporg.org

Note: The website URL was reserved in June 2008 by Cassidy Campana [14] of the PR firm Parenti Communications. [15]

Virginia A. Albrecht
Foundation for Environmental and Economic Progress
1900 K Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20006-1109

Note: The above address is for the Hunton & Williams law and lobby firm. [16]

Karrin Kunasek Taylor, FEEP Board President
DMB Associates
Phone: 480-367-7000

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. "About FEEP," Foundation for Environmental and Economic Progress website, accessed February 2009.
  2. "Join us," Foundation for Environmental and Economic Progress website, accessed February 2009.
  3. "President's message," Foundation for Environmental and Economic Progress website, accessed February 2009.
  4. "About us," DMB Associates website, accessed February 2009.
  5. "Foundation for Environmental and Economic Progress," Lobbyists.info (sub req'd), accessed February 2009.
  6. "Lobbying: Foundation for Environmental and Economic Progress," OpenSecrets.org, accessed February 2009.
  7. "Foundation for Environmental and Economic Progress - Sponsor of Congressional Travel," Legistorm.com, accessed February 2009.
  8. MacDonald travel documents, U.S. Department of the Interior, January 2004.
  9. Julie Cart, "Accused Interior Dept. official quits," Los Angeles Times, May 2, 2007.
  10. "Syllabus: SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: S. D. WARREN CO. v. MAINE BOARD OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION et al., Certiorari to the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine; No. 04–1527. Argued February 21, 2006 - Decided May 15, 2006," available via the Cornell University Law School website, accessed February 2009.
  11. Duane Desiderio, Thomas Jon Ward and Felicia Watson of the National Association of Home Builders, with Virginia Albrecht, Karma Brown and Kathy Robb of Hunton & Williams LLP, "Brief of Amici Curiae National Association of Home Builders and Foundation for Environmental and Economic Progress, in Support of Petitioner (pdf)," filed with the U.S. Supreme Court November 23, 2005.
  12. Virginia S. Albrecht, Deidre G. Duncan and David J. DePippo of Hunton & Williams LLP, "Brief of Amici Curiae Foundation for Environmental and Economic Progress, National Association of REALTORS, Utility Water Act Group and the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America in Support of Petitioners (pdf)," filed with the U.S. Supreme Court December 2, 2005.
  13. "FEEP First Quarter 2008 lobbying disclosure report," available via the U.S. Senate Office on Public Records, filed April 21, 2008.
  14. "WHOIS search: Feeporg.org," NetworkSolutions.com, accessed February 2009.
  15. "Company No. 3: Principals," Company No. 3 website, accessed February 2009.
  16. "Offices: Washington," Hunton & Williams website, accessed February 2009.

External resources

External articles