Former senator who crafted chemicals law to lobby for chemicals industry

Former senator who crafted chemicals law to lobby for chemicals industry
© Greg Nash

A former Republican senator who worked in Congress to overhaul toxic chemical regulations has signed his first lobbying clients, including two in the chemical industry, according to newly filed disclosure forms.

David VitterDavid Bruce VitterTrump nominates wife of ex-Louisiana senator to be federal judge Where is due process in all the sexual harassment allegations? Not the Senate's job to second-guess Alabama voters MORE, a former Republican senator from Louisiana, joined the public affairs and lobbying firm Mercury in February. He left Capitol Hill in 2015 after a failed Louisiana gubernatorial bid. 

But before he departed Congress, Vitter took a leading role in negotiations with Democrats to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which had not been updated in decades.

Now, he’s advocating on behalf of the American Chemistry Council, an industry group, and one of its members, Cabot Corporation. The council aggressively lobbied Congress on TSCA reform, successfully pushing for provisions to restrict states' abilities to regulate chemicals, in favor of federal standards.

The newly released forms state that Vitter will be tackling “regulatory issues” for the American Chemistry Council. For Cabot Corporation, he will be advocating on issues related to the Clean Air Act.

The Trump administration recently moved to delay an Obama-era rule that required chemical plants to strengthen their plans to prevent and mitigate accidental chemical release emergencies. 

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt has also launched the process for repealing the rule altogether. 

Vitter will also be working for wholesale pharmaceutical distributor Morris And Dickson on issues related to improper prescriptions, and for Atlantic Development Group, a real estate development and property management company, on “disability issues.”

He spent nearly two decades in Congress, serving in both the House and the Senate. He once served as part of the Senate majority whip team. Former senators are required by ethics rules to take a two-year “cooling off” period before they are able to lobby for clients. 

— Timothy Cama contributed