Clean Energy Policy Under Fire by Big Oil & Friends

The Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF) has released a new analysis that concludes that Big Oil and other special interests have spent millions of dollars in lobbying and campaign contributions to defeat clean energy legislation. The study, “Dirty Money” found that the top 35 spending companies and trade associations, including oil, mining and electric utility,  invested more than $500 million in lobbying and campaign contributions from January 2009-June 2010 to crush clean energy and clean tech legislation. Besides the federal level, one of the states Big Oil has been most active in is California. When analyzed the groups spent $1,800 in lobby expenditures a day for every senator and representative during the time of the study.

According to CAPAF this high dollar spending and political pressure has convinced enough legislators to oppose clean energy measures that would have created jobs, reduced oil use and cut pollution caused by global warming. To date, no comprehensive environmental policy has been passed, the renewable electricity industry is struggling for a federal renewable energy mandate, the biodiesel industry has lost its tax credits, and rumors coming out of DC this week are that the ethanol tax credit will not be extended either.

“This year had many extreme weather disasters and fossil fuel catastrophes. Yet too many senators ignored these events and instead heeded the extreme views of big oil, dirty coal, and their allies rather than those of the American people,” said Daniel J. Weiss, Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy for the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “America suffered from its hottest temperatures and worst offshore oil blowout, yet enough senators opposed clean energy reforms that made change impossible so far.”

Six of the seven companies with the largest lobbying expenditures are Big Oil companies*ExxonMobil (1), ConocoPhillips (2), Chevron (3), BP (5), Koch Industries (6), and Shell (7). According to “Dirty Money,” their 18-month lobbying expenditures total $143 million. In addition, the study reports that the American Petroleum Institute, a Big Oil front group, spent $11 million to lobby Congress to defeat pollution reductions and maintain their tax loopholes, along with another $126 million on television ads just this year alone.

“While big oil, dirty coal, and other special interests profit from inaction, everyday Americans will pay the price of doing nothing. Clean energy investments and pollution reductions would create jobs, protect public health, and reduce our oil dependence,” noted Weiss. But because enough senators caved to special interests, China will get our clean energy jobs while we are stuck with the dirty energy pollution.”

Ironically, this past July, China became the world’s largest user of energy, surpassing America and according to analysts polled by Bloomberg, China will become the largest importer of oil within the next 1o years.

15 thoughts on “Clean Energy Policy Under Fire by Big Oil & Friends

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  4. Until there is a more direct method that can quickly hold members of Congress accountable to the needs and wishes of the People of the USA, the members of Congress will continue their money grab from whatever source is willing to fill their pockets. This article reinforces the corruption of members of Congress, the DNC, and the RNC. The feeling of the People of the USA that little can be done within the current system against such well financed and organized syndicate as the Washington Politico.

  5. I hope you will share this article with the national news media including the major TV and cable outlets and the major news papers.

    This is important and relevant information and needs widespread dissemination.so that the public at large becomes aware of who is undermining their interests.

    I think if the public really knew the truth about the activities of many of our corporations they would find out that our real enemy to progress in this country is the business community at large aand mega corporations in particular.

  6. Pingback: » Big OIl Spends Half a Billion Dollars to Oppose Climate Legislation - SustainableBusiness.com

  7. Pingback: Big OIl Spends Half a Billion Dollars to Oppose Climate Legislation – SustainableBusiness.com : doing-it-green.com

  8. And for this reason alone, big business and the governments they support will create hell on earth for all who support them.

  9. Pingback: Big OIl Spends Half a Billion Dollars to Oppose Climate Legislation – SustainableBusiness.com

  10. According to CAPAF this high dollar spending and political pressure has convinced enough legislators to oppose clean energy measures that would have created jobs, reduced oil use and cut pollution caused by global warming.

    Apparently you’ve missed the name change to “climate disruption!”

    What is fascinating is that once people really understand what your “progressive” goals truly are, they are disgusted… not that you care.

  11. Pingback: » Big OIl Spends Half a Billion Dollars to Oppose Climate Legislation - SustainableBusiness.com

  12. Another typical hit piece from the “green side”. The cliche’s and talking points are flowing fast a furious. A few additional questions…..

    How much was spent to lobby FOR this piece of crap legislation.???…. who were the funding entities??. Are these not special interests, too…?

    So we create “clean energy jobs”, and cripple or kill tens of thousands of practical, viable, existing and proven energy jobs, in the process??…The drilling moratorium has been such a wonderful example of the stupidity of this current regime and their caving to ther environmental extremist lobby.

    It’s quite evident also the “clean-energy technologies, simply cannot compete without government subsidies… Face it folks,..
    there is not a suitable, efficient, economically viable substitute for OIL , GAS, and COAL. Technologies of course will advance by necessity, but it cannot be FORCED. These policies are EXTREME and dangerous …. they should be opposed.

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  15. If you think the funding of the information was a waste of money, you should see what these ‘green bills’ are going to do if they pass. All the propaganda to push AB32 in CA that I’ve seen is completely fabricated. Prop 23 will not threaten jobs that exist, it will prevent the government from bouying a green economy that can’t stand on it’s own merits with taxpayer dollars. These jobs could just as easily exist without the government’s involvement, if people cared enough to directly invest in these industries. Until they make more economic sense people are not going to do it themselves. It’s just easier, I guess, to absolve your conscience by forcing everyone to do what you were not willing to do yourself? Come on!