Top 10 lobbying victories of 2011

12-14-2011 // Kevin Bogardus

This is an excerpt from the Hill

K Street played defense in 2011 as conflict between the new Republican House and the Obama administration brought gridlock to Washington.

With Republicans and the White House engaged in protracted fights over the budget, federal spending and the debt ceiling, lobbyists often found themselves re-litigating old battles.

Retailers worked to protect planned reductions in debit card swipe fees passed in 2010. Business groups put their muscle behind three long-wanted trade deals negotiated during the George W. Bush administration. And environmentalists put President Obama under enormous pressure to delay construction of a transnational oil and gas pipeline that first sought U.S. permits in 2008.

Here’s a look back at the 10 biggest lobbying victories of the year, and the groups and companies that came out on top.

4. National Wildlife Federation, Friends of the Earth, 350.org

A potent combination of environmentalist pressure, grassroots activism and insider lobbying helped stall the construction of the Keystone Pipeline.

The pipeline, which is expected to carry oil sands and run from Alberta, Canada, down through the Midwest to Gulf Coast refineries, appeared to be heading toward approval. But massive protests at the White House and explicit suggestions by environmentalists that building the pipeline could hinder Obama’s 2012 election chances drew national attention to the issue.

Obama’s State Department ended up postponing the decision on whether to build the pipeline until after the election, in 2013.

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