The Dernogalizer

May 14, 2009

Bought Out

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 11:57 am
Tags: , ,

What could be inside?

I made a post a few weeks ago about how anti-global warming lobbyists from big industry were corrupting capitol hill in 2008 in order to block legislation.  There are already indicators that with the stakes so high this year, last year will look pretty.  

According to Kate Sheppard of Grist, dirty energy interests have spent 79 million dollars in the first quarter of 2009 lobbying Congress.  That’s not all…

“According to the latest lobbying data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, the oil and gas industry spent nearly $44.6 million lobbying Congress in just the first three months of this year, and ranked second only to the health care and pharmaceutical industries in total spending. Electric utilities spent $34.4 million, and businesses in the energy and natural resources sector as a whole spent $102.7 million.  To find out how much clean-energy businesses spent, you have to search down into the “miscellaneous energy” category, which includes wind, solar, biofuels, hydro, and other industries—and even then their combined spending only totaled $14.4 million. The American Wind Energy Association was the biggest renewable spender in that category, at $1.2 million. No other organization or company in the category topped $1 million.  Environmental groups have spent even less—just $4.7 million so far in 2009. The biggest spender among green groups was the Environmental Defense Action Fund, which laid out $300,000.  Meanwhile, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a staunch opponent of climate action, tops the list of individual spenders on all issues, at $15.5 million. Also on that list:  ExxonMobil at $9.3 million, Chevron at $6.8 million, ConocoPhillips at $6 million, and General Electric at $4.8 million.”

According to Brad Johnson of Wonk Room, the Democratic members of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee that have received the most money from dirty energy interests coincidentally are opposed to climate legisltion…

“Members of Markey’s energy and environment subcommittee with strong ties to those sectors include Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA: $50,942 from steel), Rep. Baron Hill (D-IN: $113,033 from auto), Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT: $177,946 from coal), and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX: $330,613 from oil). The trade publication E&E News has identified 13 members of the 34-member subcommittee as swing votes. These “maybe” officials have received an average of $678,570 in lifetime contributions from those sectors, as opposed to $149,397 for the nine “yes” votes:”              

Here is a great graph which illustrates the problem quite well

and another one on lifetime contributions…the color code tells the story, and I can’t help but notice the strongest opponent, Rep. Joe Barton of Texas has taken nearly $3.5 million.

                                                                                                                       

All of this is an example of why there needs to be serious campaign finance reform.  

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10 Comments »

  1. If they spent all that money on something more useful, like developing renewable energy technologies, imagine how much further along we’d get as a species…

    Have you seen my blog? It has to do with climate change in the context of bigger ideas such as credibility, risk management, and responsible journalism.

    You can probably just click on my name and it’ll take you there.

    Thanks,
    Kate

    Comment by climatesight — May 15, 2009 @ 2:39 pm | Reply

    • Hey Kate thanks for commenting. I’ll be sure to check out your blog, it sounds interesting.

      Comment by Matt Dernoga — May 15, 2009 @ 3:00 pm | Reply

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