The silver lining

It’s not as if any of us were actually breathing anyway, right?

A number of the nation’s biggest polluters received exemptions from basic environmental oversight for federally funded stimulus projects, according to a published report.

While the stimulus bill was being debated in Congress in 2009, numerous companies lobbied for environmental exemptions, but their efforts were ultimately rebuffed by environmental advocates.

But while companies may have failed to pressure Congress into issuing legislative exemptions from environmental oversight, federal agencies granted exemptions to 96 percent of stimulus projects so far, according to documents obtained by the Center for Public Integrity.

The energy companies BP, Westar Energy and Duke Energy, chemical manufacturer DuPont, and ethanol maker Didion Milling were among the companies to receive “categorical exclusions” from the National Environmental Policy Act.