Carrying the analogy further, Groten said membership was determined by donation. "One becomes a member of the organization just as one becomes a member of the Sierra Club, by donating money to it."
's connection to the legal challenges seems at odds with the company's stated commitment to sustainable development on its Web site: "We commit ourselves to take into account, in a way that is comprehensive and integrated in all our activities, the triple demand of economic, societal and environmental sustainability," the statement says.
Mark Wheeler, communications director for , denied the company was a member of CCR.
Kert Davies, research director for Greenpeace, said Brussels-based (or SF6), used for industrial cleaning, but also an extremely potent greenhouse gas. Each kilogram of SF6 produces an atmospheric warming effect equivalent to of carbon dioxide. The EPA proposed last year to begin regulating SF6.
The secrecy enveloping the CRR is typical of the efforts to block regulation of greenhouse gases, according to Greenpeace, which has spent years tracking the behind-the-scenes efforts by oil companies such as Exxon and to deny the science of climate change.
Also among the EPA's opponents this time around is the Alliance for Natural Climate Change Science. That organization appears to exist only as a Fort Worth post office box on the original court filings, which list Alexis Hathaway and William Orr as contacts.
Orr, a Colorado businessman, was convicted in 2008 on several counts of defrauding public funds and private investors for a project purporting to produce an alternative fuel that received a $3.6 million grant from Congress.
However, subsequent filings link the legal challenge to Bonner Cohen, a fellow of the , a well-known climate skeptic group. "[Orr] is no longer affiliated with the organization," Cohen said.
Oxfam's Kert Davies said the link between the CRR and Solvay could be an indicator that the opposition to climate change regulation is spreading to new sectors of the economy.
"The industrial bloc is powerfully organised and rich. They have all the tools and all the lawyers and they are going to do all they can to stop carbon regulation," he said. "It is going to take a generation to really regulate greenhouse gas emissions in this country, just as it has taken a generation to get action on other pollutants."
The EPA has become a prime target for politicians and industries seeking to slow down or block moves to curb greenhouse gas emissions in America. The fiercest opponents of the EPA accuse the agency of trying to put in place a top-down regulatory regime that would stifle economic growth and monitor every puff of human breath for carbon dioxide.
But the Obama administration says the EPA has no choice but to put in place a regulatory regime, should Congress fail to pass a climate change law. The Supreme Court ruled two years ago that the agency had a duty and authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. So the EPA could open itself up to a whole slew of new court challenges if it does not act on climate change.
(Republished with permission of the )