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Bass writes: "The average congressional opponent of the Green New Deal has received 24 times more campaign cash from the nation's largest oil and gas companies that sponsors of the climate change resolution, according to a MapLight analysis."

Members of the Sunrise Movement hold up signs calling for a Green New Deal. (photo: Getty)
Members of the Sunrise Movement hold up signs calling for a Green New Deal. (photo: Getty)


Critics of the Green New Deal Are in the Pocket of Big Oil

By Frank Bass, Fast Company

04 April 19


The resolution urges lawmakers to begin outlining the best options for reshaping the nation’s $20.7 trillion economy to mitigate climate change.

he average congressional opponent of the Green New Deal has received 24 times more campaign cash from the nation’s largest oil and gas companies that sponsors of the climate change resolution, according to a MapLight analysis.

The resolution, introduced on Feb. 7 by Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., urges lawmakers to begin outlining the best options for reshaping the nation’s $20.7 trillion economy to mitigate climate change. Scientists believe humans have fewer than a dozen years to limit the production of greenhouse gases or to begin facing droughts, floods, extreme heat waves, and economic misery for millions of people.

The 90 House sponsors have received a total of $37,175 in campaign donations–an average of $413 each–from the 10 largest publicly traded U.S. oil and gas companies since 2017. Meanwhile, the 344 opponents of the resolution cumulatively received 91 times more money. The opponents, who include all 197 House Republicans and 145 Democrats, took almost $3.4 million from the energy companies, an average of $9,876per lawmaker.

The donations highlight the existential stakes for the fossil fuel industry in the debate over the Green New Deal. One of the centerpieces of the broad measure calls upon Congress to curb the effects of climate change by creating a plan for a net carbon-neutral economy within the next decade.

The 10 companies, which have a combined market capitalization topping $900 billion, and their employees have given money to 235 current House members since 2017, with GOP members opposing the Green New Deal accounting for two-thirds of the recipients. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., received the most of any lawmaker, reporting $90,350 in contributions from the energy giants. Nine of the 10 biggest recipients of campaign money from the oil and gas companies are Republicans.

ExxonMobil, the Irving, Texas-based descendant of the Standard Oil Co. that’s become the largest publicly traded energy company in the world, gave the most donations of any oil and gas company, contributing more than $848,000 to House members since 2017. Only $8,400–less than 1 percent–of the ExxonMobil contributions went to Green New Deal sponsors.

The House hasn’t voted on the resolution yet, although Republican lawmakers are pushing for a vote in hopes of embarrassing the Democratic majority by painting the resolution as a job-killing exercise in Stalinesque socialism that will make hamburgers and pickup trucks illegal. Despite the Republican attacks, a February Wall Street Journal poll found almost two-thirds of American adults believe the GOP’s position on climate change is outside the mainstream.

A similar tactic last week by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., resulted in a 57-0 vote against the resolution. Three Democrats and Sen. Angus King, I-Me., voted with the Senate’s 53 Republicans. The remaining Democrats voted “present” to avoid highlighting differences within the party over the proposal, including six current senators who are running for the Democratic nomination for president and who are cosponsoring the resolution.

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+2 # elizabethblock 2019-04-04 10:56
"The opponents, who include all 197 House Republicans and 145 Democrats, took almost $3.4 million from the energy companies."
Really? I'm shocked!!!
 
 
-2 # lnason@umassd.edu 2019-04-04 17:22
So what do we believe about various environmental groups (including the Sierra Club, National Resource Defense Council, Food and Water Watch, the League of Conservation Voters, the Center for American Progress, and more)which are being generously funded ($23m in 2010 and 2011) by the Russian Federation or the millions more being spent by other fossil fuel producing countries to criticize fossil fuel production here in the US? Do you think anti-frackers are being bought off by the Russians?

Of course not. Organizations give money to politicians and non-profits which already agree with them. Fossil fuel producers donate money to pols who want to encourage more fossil fuel producers and their foreign competitors donate money to the non-profits who oppose them.

This is not a conspiracy as much as an example of "Baptist and bootlegger" economic theory.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
 
 
+1 # DongiC 2019-04-04 21:48
When conditions change, like the globe heating up, and you ignore the change, the iron law of evolution comes into play. Failure here means extinction so what those wealthy corporations are doing is contributing to their own demise. It is a form of collective suicide. While Inason is prepared to follow his beloved fossil fuel friends down the path of destruction, I am not. I opt for life and progress and survival. Would that oil producers and their admirers, like Inason here, would choose life but I guess their profits are more important to them than anything else. But, they are not the majority and we should never forget that overwhelming fact. We can save the world in spite of them. And, we shall!!!
 

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