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Allstate Insurance Company today joined with former FEMA head James Witt to launch a lobbying effort to win federal support for a program that would allow insurance companies to create tax-advantaged catastrophe reserve funds to deal with large natural disasters.

Allstate’s involvement was confirmed by the company after Mr. Witt’s lobbying firm registered with Congress last Tuesday to lobby for creation of the CAT reserve funds. Mike Trevino, an Allstate spokesman, said Mr. Witt and his partner, Barry Scanlon, had been retained in August, before Hurricane Katrina hit. Therefore there was no conflict, even though Mr. Witt also has been retained as a consultant on catastrophe issues by the state of Louisiana.

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