New Institute Charts Murky Waters

The multinational law firm Hunton & Williams -- whose clients include Altria, DTE Energy, General Dynamics and Pfizer -- has launched The Water Policy Institute. The Institute is chaired by former EPA chief turned PR consultant Christine Todd Whitman, who also co-chairs the Nuclear Energy Institute's Clean and Safe Energy Coalition. The Water Policy Institute describes itself as "a nonpartisan consortium bringing together industry leaders, including water suppliers, water users and nongovernmental organizations, to develop initiatives to address water supply, quality and use issues." Institute members include BP, Central Arizona Project and GE Water. Michael Campana, of Oregon State University's Institute for Water and Watersheds, notes that the Institute "is sponsored by a Park Avenue law firm, has corporate members, and has an advisory panel with attorneys for 6 of its 8 members. Ask me why I'm not expecting anything but the SOS."