In 2004, Ryan wrote Norman Mineta, the Secretary of Transportation, on behalf of the chemical company PPG Industries. The company’s PAC has contributed $6,750 to Ryan’s campaign coffers from 1998 through 2012. Ryan began by saying he was “writing to share the concerns” of the company over a proposed rule concerning the transportation of hazardous materials.
What were those concerns? The proposed rule would give the DOT and OSHA combined jurisdiction over hazardous materials. But the industry wanted OSHA to stay out of it.
Ryan expressed no opinion other than PPG’s own about those nettlesome regulations. “In their current form, PPG Industries believes that the new regulations are confusing, may be inconsistent with existing federal law and may lead to conflicting and possibly onerous regulatory actions by local authorities,” Ryan wrote in his August 10, 2004 letter to Mineta. “I would like a further explanation of how the DOT plans to meet various concerns that were raised by the shipping and receiving industry and the businesses that utilize their services.”
Two months later, Ryan got a response from Mineta. The transportation secretary said a final decision on the rule had been delayed multiple times due to industry concerns and was still up for consideration. He then emphasized the regulation’s importance in clarifying responsibilities and oversight concerning worker and environmental hazards. The provisions would also provide national standards “for the transportation of hazardous material in commerce that are consistent with Federal hazmat law and with the statutes authorizing the hazardous materials regulatory programs administered by OSHA and EPA.”
But wait….there’s more!
In 2009, when car dealers in Ryan’s congressional district were upset over inefficiencies with Obama’s “Cash for Clunkers” program, Ryan wrote a letter to Secretary Ray LaHood asking to hear what steps he might be taking to “alleviate the administrative gridlock and technical errors currently facing this system.”
The National Auto Dealers Association is a top contributor to Ryan, pouring $68,500 into his campaigns. In total, the automotive industry has donated $290,350 to Ryan’s campaigns.